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Saturday, February 16, 2008

Hoarding-animals found dead in freezer-nearly 200 counts of animal cruelty

A preliminary hearing was delayed on Feb 12, 2007 for a Uniontown couple facing nearly 200 charges related to cruelty to animals.

Tim and Joyce Swaney of 51 Bierer Ave. were each charged Dec. 18 with 68 counts of cruelty to animals, eight counts of failure to dispose of animal carcasses and 19 counts of failure to have pets vaccinated.

Officers Jamie Speelman and Elizabeth Davidson from the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals had to wear biohazard suits and breathing masks to enter the Swaney home last November where dozens of animals were found living among several carcasses of dead animals.

After the house was completely searched, the officers reported finding 27 living animals, including 15 cats, four rabbits, a turtle, six ferrets and a dog. Officers also found eight dead animals in different areas of the house, including three cats, three kittens, a ferret and a bird.

Some of the dead animals were found in a freezer in the basement of the home. One cat was discovered dead underneath a mattress in the couple's bedroom. A dead kitten was also found in an empty cat food can.

Officials described the home as being "full of feces and debris" and said that animal carcasses were found in several rooms of the home.

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