Fairfield police: 47 dogs and cats removed from home due to ‘deplorable’ conditions

All the animals went to Fairfield Animal Control, where they’re currently being cared for, except for three that needed treatment at a local animal hospital.

Marissa Alter

May 1, 2023, 11:53 PM

Updated 355 days ago

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Animal control officers removed 25 dogs and 22 cats from a home in Fairfield Friday due to the state of the house, according to police.
“We discovered some conditions that were very deplorable and not safe for any animal or any human being,” said Lt. Michael Paris, who described it as “a hoarding situation.” Paris told News 12 there were piles of garbage in the home, along with animal feces and urine.
All the animals went to Fairfield Animal Control, where they’re currently being care for, except for three that needed treatment at a local animal hospital.
Police were first alerted to a potential issue last month after a concerned citizen found one of the dogs roaming.
“It was covered in urine and feces and thin,” said Paris.
Further investigation determined the dog had wandered from a home on Steep Hill Road, where a family of four or five adults lived, police said.
“Over the years they acquired more and more animals. There were like a ton of cats and dogs that just literally roamed the neighborhood,” said neighbor John Stramaglia. “It just kept getting exponentially more out of control.”
"Incessantly barking. There was an overwhelming noise factor,” added Sue Colon, another neighbor. Colon also said, “All over the yard you step in poop all the time.”
Still, both neighbors said they were stunned by the number of animals removed from the home.
“We would've never imagined there would've been 47,” Colon said.
“No,” Stramaglia agreed. “47 animals with cats living inside the walls.”
Stramaglia and Colon said the family previously told them they were running a rescue organization out of the home.
“I thought that was strange because it's a residential neighborhood,” Stramaglia told News 12. “I contacted animal control multiple times, and they said there's really not much you can do they have a license.”
Police said it didn’t appear the family was running an animal rescue operation, and News 12 didn’t see any signs for one on the property. But there were plenty of cars and piles of junk in the yards and driveway. Neighbors said they’ve filed blight complaints over the years, with one recently.
“I'm like this is not a healthy situation that's going on, not to mention the crap that is constantly outside. You can see there's parked cars over there. There's one car in the driveway that has been there for ten years. They use it as a storage bin,” Stramaglia said.
On Friday, the health department also deemed the home uninhabitable.
Police and animal control are investigating to determine whether animal cruelty charges are warranted.
“Our department is certainly trying to provide resources to the family. We understand that this maybe something they are unable to control at times. But we have resources available with a licensed clinical social worker that's attached to our police department and directly involved in this case,” Paris said.
Neighbors told News 12 while they're relieved for the animals, they're not convinced the problem is solved.
“It's been an untenable situation with these people because they're just basically clueless first of all what the pets needs are and also what impact it has on the neighbors,” Stramaglia said.


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