More than 150 animals discovered during eviction in Brookline
The Animal Rescue League scrambled Tuesday to find shelter for more than 150 birds and other animals — including a bearded dragon — that Allegheny County Sheriff's deputies encountered while serving an eviction notice in Brookline.
“This has been the largest intake from one incident that we've ever had,” said Dan Rossi, the rescue league's CEO.
Animal control officers responded at about 11:50 a.m. to the Bay Ridge Avenue home when deputies found 150 birds, 14 ferrets, 10 cats, seven dogs, seven Guinea pigs, three lizards, 2 geckos, one turtle, one hamster and one bearded dragon, Pittsburgh Public Safety spokeswoman Sonya Toler said.
Police took Barbara Tourey, 70, and her daughter, Barbara Yogmas, 45, into custody. A 13-year-old boy was taken into protective custody, Toler said.
Yogmas faces charges of endangering the welfare of a child, cruelty to animals — one count per animal – and harboring of a nuisance, Toler said.
As of Tuesday night, police had not determined whether to charge Tourey.
Rossi said the Animal Rescue League's East End facility isn't large enough to house all the animals. Some will be kept at the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society on the North Side.
Veterinarians were looking over the animals Tuesday night. The animal shelter will begin placing the pets into foster homes in the next few days, Rossi said.
“We need supplies,” Rossi said. “We need extra bird cages, bird food, newspapers and of course monetary donations.”
Court papers were not available online that detailed the circumstances of the eviction. Attempts to reach the Allegheny County Sheriff's Office for comment Tuesday evening were not successful.
Residents of the generally quiet street in Brookline were shocked upon learning about the animal-hoarding situation.
Chris Jamison, 44, who lives across the street, said he never noticed anything unusual about the home where the animals were seized.
“You hear a couple dogs. You hear a couple birds. You think, ‘A couple birds, a couple dogs,'” Jamison said. “And then we hear on the news it's hundreds of animals. ... It's pretty shocking.”
Karissa Millick, 28, often jogs past the home during her daily run. She said she never smelled a foul odor coming from that residence.
“To me, it's surprising,” Millick said. “Just that that many animals were living in that house, probably uncared for.”