Police Find Teen Boy Living in Filth With 77 Animals, No Running Water

(WPXI)

In Pennsylvania, a disturbing case of child endangerment and animal cruelty has emerged, leading to charges against a couple. James and Kathleen Chaney faced these charges following a shocking discovery at their Westmoreland County home. The situation came to light when CBS Pittsburgh reported that a humane officer found 77 animals and a 14-year-old boy living in deplorable conditions on August 14, during an operation to seize animals from the property.

Sgt. Robert Broome, with over 15 years of law enforcement experience and two decades as a first responder, described the conditions inside the residence as the worst he had ever seen. Court documents obtained by Penn-Trafford Star revealed his observations, indicating that these hazardous conditions had been persisting for a long period.

The initial concern was raised by the smell of rotting trash emanating from the house. A closer inspection revealed a more harrowing scene – feces scattered across the floors and furniture, and the house lacking basic amenities like running water. An officer, recounting the experience for CBS Pittsburgh, described the overwhelming ammonia smell that burned his nasal cavity and eyes, necessitating periodic breaks during the search.

Cassie Wilson, a volunteer humane officer with the nonprofit rescue group All but Forgotten, witnessed the scene firsthand. She shared her shock with HuffPost, stating that every part of the house was covered in urine, feces, mold, or overrun by animals. “Once the house was clear, we went outside and found more animals,” she added, indicating the extensive nature of the neglect.

The Penn-Trafford Star reported that the 77 rescued animals included a diverse group: 46 dogs, 23 cats, five guinea pigs, a dove, a chinchilla, and a ferret, all suffering from fleas and worms. Additionally, a dog, a bird, a snake, and four chickens were found deceased on the property. The report highlighted that half of the dogs lacked access to food or water.

The 14-year-old boy living in these conditions is the son of the Chaneys. A Child and Youth Services officer noted that the house was unfit for human habitation, a fact reported by people in Pittsburgh. This case has brought to light severe issues of neglect and abuse, both towards animals and a child, raising concerns about the welfare systems in place and the need for more vigilant monitoring in such cases.

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