Authorities seize chickens, ducks, pigeons, peacock from illegal slaughterhouse in Jefferson Hills
Officers from Animal Friends helped rescue more than 50 chickens and a peacock from a Jefferson Hills barnyard as part of an ongoing federal investigation with the Department of Agriculture.
The rescue was part of an investigation into a “suspected illegal slaughter organization,” said Jolene Miklas, a spokeswoman for Animal Friends, a nonprofit animal shelter in Ohio Township.
“(Officers) have been doing stakeouts and trying to gather information,” Miklas said. “They didn't realize until Monday how many animals were affected.”
The office of David J. Hickton, the U.S. attorney for Western Pennsylvania, confirmed in a statement that a federal investigation is under way about a property on Scotia Hollow Road. Hickton's office declined to identify the target of the investigation.
Agents from the USDA's Office of Inspector General and the agency's Food Safety and Inspection Service executed a search warrant at the Jefferson Hills property on Tuesday, along with the Jefferson Hills Police Department and officers from Animal Friends, according to Hickton's statement.
Food Safety and Inspection Service spokesman Richard McIntire said the USDA could not provide additional information.
Animal Friends anticipated rescuing about a dozen chickens, Miklas said. But officers came out with 52 chickens, seven pigeons, two ducks and a teal peacock.
The chickens are receiving medical care at the Animal Friends shelter. They will be transferred to farm sanctuaries, where they will be able to recover.
Some of the chickens were infested with lice and had bald patches.
One was found dead, and two had to be euthanized at the shelter.
The peacock's blue and green feathers were severely damaged, and many were missing. It's unclear why the peacock was being kept at the barnyard, Miklas said.
Animal Friends posted photos of the rescued animals on its Facebook page and sought donations to help defray the costs of their care.
On Wednesday, the rescued animals occupied a large room at Animal Friends that was intended for administering dog vaccinations. Workers were forced to administer rabies shots in the lobby of the shelter instead.
As dozens of dog owners and their pets crowded the shelter throughout the day seeking rabies inoculations, the rescued roosters crowed loudly from their cages.
Christina Gallagher is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-5637 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.
- Ligonier Valley YMCA marks start of 32,000-square-foot expansion
- Toole decides to remain at Robert Morris after interviewing with Fordham
- Warrant issued for Hopwood man accused of burglary
- Improperly tapped gas line a possibility in NYC blast
- Eagle egg breaks, parents abandon nest
- West Virginia men’s basketball team hopes best is yet to come
- Key Pennsylvania judicial races dot landscape
- Penguins coach Johnston’s mother dies
- Region’s Goodwill spends $51.6M in 2014, report says
- Norwin High School health teacher charged with selling heroin
- District college notebook: Seton Hill baseball team slugs its way to 6-0 week