Multiple charges have been filed against a Herminie couple with approximately 40 animals on their property in alleged filthy conditions.
On Wednesday, the Humane Society of Westmoreland County filed 58 counts of animal neglect in terms of veterinarian care, sustenance and water and providing shelter against Karl J. Kuhn, 44, and Nicole Marzole, 39, both of 10555 5th Street, Herminie, Sewickley Township.
On May 9, humane society police officer Erin Cassidy received a complaint regarding the residence, stating the garage was open and garbage was piled up to the ceiling and at the residence were 20 rabbits, two goats, four ducks, three cats and one dog and over 100 mice living in a nest of hay in the garage.
Cassidy found that a previous officer filed a report, stating on Oct. 26, 2018, that officer responded to the residence about a large number of animals living in filthy conditions.
When that officer arrived, there was garbage strewn all over the property and a side garage door was open where caged rabbits were observed.
When that officer knocked on the door, the homeowner showed her around the house where that officer observed a dog tethered to a dog box on a short tether with mud all around the area, ducks in an enclosure with dirty water and only a dog carrier to shelter them, the smell of urine and feces was overwhelming near the rabbit cages that were filled with urine and feces and no ventilation.
When Cassidy arrived at the location on May 22, she found the conditions didn't change much since the October report, stating the in the complaint that she recognized a distinct smell of urine, feces and ammonia.
Cassidy stated that the rabbit cages were filled with feces and urine, the smell of which was overwhelming and attracted swarmed of flying insects. She also observed mice and rats including a rat that ran over her foot.
She reported that the tether for the dog was still too short, but the dog was inside the house, the goats had very little grass on which to graze and did not have access to clean water and neither did the ducks.
Marzole and Kuhn did not permit Cassidy on the property, but brought each of the cats outside for her to observe.
Cassidy determined the property to be in violation, but since the animals did not appear to be in a life-threatening state of health, Cassidy gave the couple 10 days to complete a list of corrections.
After 11 days, Cassidy returned to the house to find the only correction made was a fan installed in the garage, but was not turned on and the rabbits inside the garage were in rusty, jagged cages that she did not see the first time, and the weight of the cages were causing the bottom cages to begin to collapse.
She also observed the dog outside with little shade in the 80-degree heat.
Cassidy returned on June 3 with a search warrant and seized 29 rabbits, two goats, three ducks, one chicken, one cat and one dog and was able to seize two additional cats during a followup visit.
The couple is awaiting arraignment before Magisterial District Judge Charles Christner.