Several animals were found abandoned in a Washington County home without heat Thursday. They were discovered only after the property owner made a check on the residence. Time Warner Cable News Reporter Karen Tararache has more on this heartbreaking story.
WASHINGTON COUNTY, N.Y. -- A disturbing scene inside this two level home where it is believed three small children live for a few days a week with their father.
No heat, no water and cages upon cages filled with feces and what looks to be like remnants of blood splattered on the wall.
The owner tells me the renter is a well known dog breeder, handler and groomer but by the look and smell of it, it's hard to believe.
Owner, Elizabeth Osterhaudt explained, "The place was in pristine condition, it was beautiful."
It was meant to be a vacation home or a rent to buy leased out to a well known dog handler in August but now, "The first thing I see is these little puppies staring at me and not knowing what to do," Osterhaudt said.
Stepping inside the home for the first time in six months, Elizabeth found 11 pure bred dachshunds in cages without food and water
"They were very sick looking their eyes were yellow."
In a nearby bedroom a frozen fish tank and up the stairs what appears to be children's rooms next door to where about 20 birds and 5 rabbits were held.
"A couple of the rabbits survived on top because they had a light on they physically chiseled the bottom ones out," Osterhaudt said.
Senior Investigator Bruce Hamilton of the Washington County Sherriff's office said, "It looks more like not taking the proper steps to make sure the animals were provided for."
He says charges are still pending against the renter which leaves Elizabeth left to clean up the mess.
Osterhaudt said, "I want stricter laws for people who abuse animals. Those animals had no rights they were locked in cages. They had no way to find warmth."
The renter called the veterinary hospital where the surviving animals are being treated asking if he could pick them up. He was denied.
Investigator Hamilton and the District Attorney's office are looking into whether the charges filed against the renter will be a misdemeanor or a felony depending on if he knowingly was harming the animals.