Jefferson Hills man raided of 52 chickens and other birds has prior animal cruelty convictions
The owner of a Jefferson Hills home where 52 chickens and other birds were seized on Monday has been convicted of animal cruelty charges as a result of similar raids.
Federal agents and officers from Animal Friends took the chickens, seven pigeons, two ducks and a teal peacock from the home of Xia Xue Vue as part of an ongoing investigation by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Jefferson Hills police Chief Eugene W. Roach said on Thursday.
Authorities suspect the property on Scotia Hollow Road is being used as an illegal slaughterhouse, according to Jolene Miklas, a spokeswoman for Humane Society officers with the nonprofit Animal Friends shelter in Ohio Township.
Records reviewed by the Tribune-Review show that Vue, 82, was convicted in 2010 and 2011 of animal cruelty charges after raids at the Jefferson Hills home and another home he owns on McKnight Street in Pittsburgh's West End.
Chickens seized from the McKnight property in a September 2011 raid were found living in filth. Police discovered in the basement a bloody meat cleaver and bloody chicken cages. Officers also found large freezers that contained pig heads, a dead squirrel and animal limbs.
In June 2010, Vue pleaded guilty to five counts of animal cruelty. The raid found Vue confined goats, ducks, chickens and chicks in small enclosures on a property on Scotia Hollow Road.
Charges have not been filed against Vue in connection with the raid on Monday.
A statement by the office of David Hickton, the U.S. Attorney for Western Pennsylvania, said special agents from the USDA's Office of Inspector General and Food Safety and Inspection Service conducted the raid along with Humane Society officers from Animal Friends with assistance from Jefferson Hills police.
Attorney David DeFazio, who represented Vue in an animal cruelty case, said he would represent him again if asked.
“(Vue's) family members contacted me, and I'm waiting to hear from him,” he said.
One chicken was found dead during the raid, and two others had to be euthanized because they were in such poor health, Miklas said. The rest of the seized birds are receiving medical care at the Animal Friends shelter.
Some of the chickens were infested with lice and had bald patches. The peacock's blue and green feathers were severely damaged, Miklas said, and many were missing.
All of the surviving birds will be transferred to farm sanctuaries.
Cheryl Schademan, 58, a neighbor of Vue in Jefferson Hills, said she has never seen anyone near his hilltop property. However, she said she and other neighbors have heard chickens and seen pens in the backyard.
A rooster used to wander into Schademan's yard and would wake her family by crowing every morning, she said. She said she was upset because she has not seen the rooster in about three weeks.
“I loved him. I named him Henry,” Schademan said. “And then all of a sudden he was gone.”
Christina Gallagher is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-5637 or email@example.com.
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.
- Western Pennsylvania drivers at bottom of insurer’s safety rankings
- Mystery continues to surround Hill District slaying
- Overnight lane closures announced for both the Liberty and Fort Pitt tunnels
- Police looking for person who shot man in face with BB gun
- Newsmaker: John Burke
- Penn Hills schools’ transit director resigns
- Corbett uninvited to labor parade over LCB issue
- North Allegheny rowing coach charged with having sex with student
- Pittsburgh city vehicle repair delays elicit gripes about Cincinnati company
- Job market unkind to incoming attorneys
- Suit over too-tall Pittsburgh Parking Authority meters nearly settled