Many animals found ‘in very poor condition’

By Shaun Moriarty
Citizen Chronicle Writer
shaun@thecitizenchronicle.com

AUBURN — Several agencies came together on Tuesday and removed 61 animals from a Buron Terrace home.

In executing a search warrant at 4 Buron Terrace, detectives from the Auburn Police Department worked in conjunction with the Town’s Department of Development and Inspectional Services (DDIS), Rescue Agents from the Animal Rescue League of Boston, Massachusetts State Police Lieutenant Alan Borgal, and Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) Chief Veterinarian Health Officer Dr. Lorraine O’Connor.

As a result, a total of 61 cats and dogs were removed from the home and were slated to be medically examined. Among the dozens of cats and dogs, authorities said there were two litters of puppies and four litters of kittens on the premises. Once examined by veterinarians the animals will be placed in foster homes used by the Animal Rescue League of Boston.

The cats and dogs, a number of which were unhealthy, were allegedly living in waste-covered boxes and cages. “A lot of them have overgrown nails, matting, urine-stained fur,” Animal Rescue League Lieutenant Alan Borgal said in a press conference Wednesday. He added that “a lot of the cats,” including six kittens, “were in very poor condition.”

Lt. Borgal also noted the animals “had no access to sun.”

The Board of Health deemed the dwelling unfit for human habitation and the property was posted as such after its residents, Richard and Jean Anger, were relocated. According to county records, the three-bedroom home was built in 1947 and has 936 square feet of living space on one floor and is set on 0.28 acres of land.

“There was a very strong odor of ammonia” that appears to have been emitting from cat feces, Auburn Police Detective Lieutenant Scott Mills said in the press conference. Long-term exposure to the odor, Det. Lt. Mills asserted, can “cause dementia-like symptoms.” He added the conditions within the dwelling “were filthy and unfit for both human and animal living.”

According to the Auburn Police Department, the search warrant had been obtained after a report was received of “cats and dogs living in filthy, unsanitary conditions.” Police said the property and its’ owners have been the subject of 11 prior complaints filed with the Board of Health since 1993. In each of these earlier investigations, “administrative actions” were taken, according to police. Charges of animal cruelty and operating a kennel without a license will be filed against the homeowners, police said.

Local authorities were quickly asked by many area residents about possible adoption of some of these cats and dogs. Police said Wednesday night that the adoption status of the animals “will likely be determined as part of the disposition of the criminal charges.”

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