Man charged with Animal Cruelty after police recover 91 animals from Campbell home
A Campbell man is currently facing numerous animal cruelty charges after police recovered a total of 91 animals from his home in early March.
According to a police report, officers were called to a home on the 300 block of Whipple Avenue after a report that there were numerous dogs, pigeons, chickens and rabbits locked in a garage that had not been fed.
Police visited the home and determined this complaint to be valid. Police say there were animals living in their own feces with no fresh food or water available.
Officers observed a dog barking inside of the garage, noting that there was no handle to pull up the garage door and that another door leading into the garage was padlocked preventing entry.
Police described the garage's conditions as "atrocious" stating that there was junk scattered about including a washer and dryer, a large animal cage, kitchen table chairs, a badly damaged couch, bikes, lawn equipment and other unidentifiable items.
Police went on to say cobwebs were hanging from the rafters as far as seven feet down, and say the smell of ammonia was "overpowering" making it difficult to breathe inside the garage.
Police say most of these items were caked in "years worth of dust that hasn't been cleaned in years." Police say there was no room for the dog to move or exercise and that it was deprived of fresh air.
A few days later, police returned to the home and spoke with the owner, identified as 61-year-old Pavlo Santiago and told him that they were bringing rescue units to remove the animals from the home.
Police say Santiago was very cooperative and agreed that the animals should be removed, even helping with the removal process.
Officers described the dog as a pit mix between 40 and 45 pounds stating that he was "very skinny, filthy [and] dirty with bloodshot eyes and a hoarse cough." Police also say the dog had trouble breathing and appeared to have some areas of dermatitis, overgrown nails and was of "moderately poor" body condition.
The dog was turned over to a local kennel.
Additionally, a chicken coop was found in a shed-like structure connected to the garage. Police say the coop was covered in thick dust further stating that the entire chicken coop door was caked with this dust. Police say 20 chickens and roosters were found here.
Upon entry to the building housing the chickens, police say all of the birds ran to officers and began making noises. Officers say they've dealt with numerous chicken calls and have never seen this happen before noting that the chickens usually ignore their presence.
Police say there was no fresh food or water to be found here, as well as no straw or heat lamps, no clean feeders and no waterers. Additionally, police say the chickens were confined in a tight space, which is harmful to them.
According to police, there was an outdoor area the chickens were supposed to have access to, but it was blocked by a metal gate.
A veterinary technician for Happy Trails Sanctuary says at least 14 of the chickens were underweight, but the rest appeared to be of adequate weight.
The technician went on to say each bird showed signs of lice with at least 10 of them being severe infestations resulting in missing feathers caused by self mutilation, as well as scaly leg mites, some of which causing missing or scabby scales.
Most of the chickens also had trouble breathing within the first 24 hours of being rescued due to the poor air conditions.
Police moved on to another enclosure in the back yard housing an "overwhelmingly large" number of pigeons. Police say the enclosure was covered in bird feces with most of the floor being caked with feces. No water was found here, but food was found scattered on the floor covered in feces.
Police say at least 60 adult pigeons, four baby pigeons and four eggs were found here and police say Santiago told them he purchased six pigeons just that day.
According to the police report, many of the birds were of "poor body condition" with police noting "obvious bony prominences" in areas such as the keel and pelvic bones.
Finally, officers observed two rabbits in a coop outside near the garage, neither of which having access to food or water. Police say the only protection these rabbits had was a three-sided box with no straw for warmth.
Four more rabbits were later found in two cages on the back patio. Police say neither of these cages are appropriate for rabbits with one being a dog kennel and another being a smaller cage intended for pets like guinea pigs.
Police say one of these rabbits appeared to be pregnant and all the rabbits' nails appeared to be overgrown.
In total, one dog, six rabbits 20 chickens and 64 pigeons were rescued from the scene.
According to the report, Santiago is charged with various animal cruelty charges as well as some zoning violations. Police say he could possibly be charged with up to 91 counts of animal cruelty.
He is scheduled for a pretrial hearing on May 5 at 11:00 a.m. in the Campbell Municipal Court.