Charges of Animal Hoarding and Neglect

Published 08/14 2014 05:50AM

Updated 08/14 2014 10:36PM

MANITOWOC, Wisc. (WFRV) A source close to the investigation says authorities will be requesting charges of animal hoarding and neglect against two Manitowoc County residents.

It's a story we first brought you back in June. Neighbors of the home on Rockville Road in the Town of Schleswig reached out to Local 5 after authorities refused to take action in the case.

After our story aired, officials closed in. Last week they removed 21 cats, 17 dogs and 6 puppies from the home. Most of them were living in wired cages and were covered in feces and urine.

Many of the animals had severe health issues from chronic skin conditions to eye and ear infections. The Lakeshore Humane Society said all of them suffered from the worst case of fleas the shelter has ever seen. 

"When you can just glance at a dog and see half a dozen to a dozen, depending on which dog you're looking at, of fleas just crawling around, it's horrific," Hailey Rogala, a medical care specialist from LHS said. 

The worst off, a dog named Teak. With numerous fatty tumors hanging from his fragile body, Teak's skin was extremely irritated, his hair half gone. LHS thought the animal would have to be euthanized due to his condition. That's when a Two Rivers veterinarian stepped in. Dr. Christopher Katz, providing medical services free of charge, told LHS that Teak should be ok after surgeries are complete.

All other dogs, cats and puppies should also survive. In fact, some should be ready for adoption as early as next week. 

"We are going to have a lot of people putting applications in so we're going to be very selective, making sure these dogs and cats deserve the best homes and we;re going to do everything we can as a shelter to get them absolutely what they need the best," said Tina Nichols, the manager of the shelter.

In the meantime, the shelter is still looking for donations of food, blankets, toys or even monetary donations. Nichols said the influx of animals from the hoarding case ,in addition to their 150 animals already on site, has left them dealing with overtime costs and diminishing supplies. Any help is appreciated. 

Of note, the Town of Schleswig will hold a meeting tonight to change their animal ordinance. They now want it to state that residents will only be allowed to keep 5 animals inside their home. Homeowner who are found guilty of animal hoarding or abuse/neglect would not be allowed any animals for 7 years after the incident. Town of Schleswig officials are hoping to prevent cases like this from ever happening again. 

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