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56 animals found dead in Pittsburgh yard; animal cruelty charges filed

Natasha Lindstrom
| Tuesday, April 10, 2018, 7:30 p.m.
Getty Images/iStockphoto

More than 50 chickens, ducks and rabbits died of hunger and thirst at the home of a man in Pittsburgh's West End neighborhood, police said.

Dennis Safranko, 52, was charged Tuesday with 112 felony counts of animal cruelty — two for each animal found dead in bags and cages in his yard, Department of Public Safety spokesman Chris Togneri said.

Police responded Monday to a complaint from a neighbor about the animals.

When they arrived, officials found 33 dead chickens, 18 dead ducks and five dead rabbits outside Safranko's house on Arnold Street, Togneri said.

Safranko is accused of severely neglecting, torturing and causing the death of the animals by depriving them of food and water for prolonged periods.

Police are continuing to investigate.

Neighbors told Trib news partner WPXI-TV that Safranko was a nice man who couldn't handle the number of animals he'd accumulated and had been trying to sell the rabbits. He reportedly had tried to install outside heaters to keep the animals warm.

Officers Tracy Schweitzer and Christine Luffey urged anyone who takes in more animals than they can handle to get help from animal shelters, animal control or local police.

Natasha Lindstrom is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 412-380-8514, or via Twitter @NewsNatasha.

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