Glassport deems Marie Street house uninhabitable
Authorities in Glassport have declared a house along Marie Street uninhabitable because of animal waste and other debris piling up in and around the property.
Anthony Territo, 40, of Glassport is facing 10 counts of cruelty to animals and other charges because of filthy conditions and neglected animals at the Marie Street home.
The house was declared uninhabitable on Sunday when authorities investigated complaints about a dog from the property running loose. When they arrived they found deplorable conditions.
Three dogs were recovered from the home by Glassport animal control officer Ken Ferree. Two rabbits were found without food in a cage on a back porch and a dead lizard was found in a fish tank inside the home.
The rabbits, which were slated for removal by authorities, were apparently taken from their cage while the property was temporarily unattended.
Glassport code enforcement officer Cindi Passarell said she had posted the property uninhabitable and went to her office to find someone to take the rabbits. When she returned, she said, the signs she had posted were torn down and the rabbits were missing.
Passarell said the house was one of the worst she has seen. She described the condition of the animals as “sad” and said it's unfortunate someone took the rabbits before she could find an agency to take them.
“The rabbit rescuers would have given them a good home,” said Passarell.
There are several broken windows and doors around the house, which is emanating a powerful odor of animal waste. The waste is drawing flies and insects and is scattered throughout the house. The house is littered with broken furniture and beer bottles, according to authorities.
A police report said the dogs may have been eating furniture due to a lack of food.
“The house is absolutely destroyed,” said Passarell, noting the floors are soaked with feces and urine.
Sandy Wampler, who lives two houses away, said there have been animal problems at the property for several years. Four years ago, she said, a dog broke loose and bit her own pet dog while it was still a puppy.
“There's nobody even staying at the house,” said Wampler, noting the dogs' owner would only visit sporadically to deliver pet food then leave. Wampler said one of the dogs had escaped several times within the last week.
Territo, who could not be reached for comment, was not present when the house was declared uninhabitable. A warrant has been issued for his arrest.
Ferree said the dogs, which he described as a pit bull and pit bull mixes, have mostly slept since he took them to his kennel. He said the unusual amount of sleep may be the result of the animals being removed from a stressed environment.
He described the dogs' behavior as anti-social but said they were not underfed, emaciated or losing hair, which are traits commonly associated with neglected animals.
Ferree said Territo contacted his office about reclaiming the dogs on Friday. Ferree said Territo has a legal right to reclaim his property though he will have to pay fines and fees to recover the dogs. Depending on how the case progresses in court, Ferree said Territo may still have to relinquish his right to own the dogs.
Ferree said cases of severe animal neglect have become all too common.
“It's beyond my belief that this had gone on so long,” said Ferree, noting the property was in an area of relatively well-kept homes. “This is months and months and months of neglect.”
Eric Slagle is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1966, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Greensburg pit bull advocacy group plans fundraiser in Homestead
- Teen who accused Clairton police of brutality pleads guilty to lesser charges
- Munhall’s $8.3 million spending plan has no tax hike or furloughs
- Businessman responds to Brewster shale tax proposal
- Polka musician ‘Mr. December’ bringing his fiddle to McKeesport lodge
- West Mifflin OKs budget, repeals gun law in response to Act 192
- Executive says Century III revival plan remains on track
- West Mifflin soccer fields nearly done, but play will be delayed
- Hill Task Force keeps its holiday tradition going
- Hour of Code initiative introduces Mon-Yough area students to computer programming
- Sentence reduced in triple Crawford Village homicide