The Humane Society of the United States is assisting the Washington Area Humane Society in rescuing approximately 200 cats and kittens and several dogs and chickens in a large-scale alleged neglect situation on two residential properties in Washington County and Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. The Washington County District Attorney’s office, Pennsylvania State Police, Humane Animal Rescue-Pittsburgh and Brandywine Valley SPCA are also providing assistance.
Local authorities served search and seizure warrants on two residential properties at approximately 7:15 a.m. The animals appeared to suffer from a lack of proper veterinary care and were living in filthy conditions typically seen in severe neglect situations. Many of the cats were found in a dilapidated church, some living in crates overflowing with feces and with no apparent access to food and water. Other cats were found in the dark basement of a Victorian-style house, stacked in crates. Approximately 20 chickens were also found in the basement of the house.
The Humane Society of the United States’ Animal Rescue Team is transporting the rescued animals to an undisclosed shelter location. RedRover responders will be assisting in the caretaking of the animals at the shelter location.
“It was distressing to see gentle cats being forced to live in a dungeon-like setting, stacked in crates in a dark basement. No animal deserves to suffer in conditions like we have seen today,” said Kristen Tullo, Pennsylvania state director for the Humane Society of the United States. “We are thankful to all of the agencies involved for answering the call to get these cats desperately-needed help.”
The assistance of the Humane Society of the United States was requested by the Washington Area Humane Society after concerns about the welfare of animals on the property were raised.
“We have received numerous complaints about this property as conditions deteriorated. Given the dire condition of the roof structure and the winter season coming, we felt it was necessary to move forward with a rescue operation,” said Kelly Proudfit, executive director of Washington Area Humane Society. “The Washington Area Humane Society is privately funded, not county funded, and does not have the resources for such a large-scale deployment. We feel very fortunate that the Humane Society of the United States, state police and district attorney’s office were willing to assist us in this large-scale operation with the purpose of rescuing and providing medical care to the animals on this property.”
A generous donation has been made by the Alex and Elisabeth Lewyt Charitable Trust to support the expert care and supplies needed for the rescued animals. The Humane Society of the United States thanks our long-time partner, GreaterGood.org for donations of animal enrichment and supplies.
Editor's note: This press release was updated on Oct. 31 to update the number of rescued animals to the final headcount of approximately 200.