Who, age What Where When Last Known Address
Karen A. Reilly, 50 trailer found filled with neglected and dead dogs

Edwardsville, PA

Kingston Township

January 10, 2014  
Type of Crime Other Crimes #/Type of animal(s) involved Case Status Next Court Date /Courthouse

failure to vaccinate, unlicensed dogs

12 living dogs, 7 dead dogs Alleged

April 17 at 2 pm/Luzerne County Courthouse

The gruesome discovery was so extreme, township code enforcement officer William Eck was forced to wear a protective suit and an air pack to breath during an interior inspection.

Kingston Township police and the SPCA of Luzerne County charged Karen A. Reilly, 50, of Heisz Street, Edwardsville, with 31 counts of cruelty to animals and 19 counts each of failure to obtain dog licenses for each canine and failure to vaccinate each dog. Reilly surrendered on the charges at the office of District Judge James Tupper in Kingston Township on January 10th.

Reilly was released on $10,000 unsecured bail and ordered not to own any animals as her case remains open. A dog currently in her care is expected to be seized by the SPCA.

Humane officers removed 11 live dogs from the trailer and the carcasses of 4 canines on Sept. 27. A dog that escaped was later captured.

Three other dog carcasses were removed when humane officers returned to the trailer on Oct. 14.

Authorities said the trailer was infested with maggots, flies, fleas and other insects and had a strong odor of urine, feces and rotting flesh. Fecal waste material was several inches deep in most areas inside the trailer and there was no food and water.

The trailer was immediately condemned by Eck. It was demolished on October 25th, 2013

According to the criminal complaint:
Police officer Michael Prokopchak responded to the trailer on September 27, 2013 due to numerous animals inside the house trailer in which Reilly had been evicted a month earlier.  Prokopchak noted “the smell of death coming from inside the residence.”

Eck entered the trailer through a window wearing a protective suit and an air pack, noticing “eaten and rotted remains of a dog’s head on the floor,” the complaint says.

Humane officers removed the living dogs as 1 dog ran out and licked water from the pavement in front of the trailer. The escaped dog was captured in a trap on September 29, 2013.

The living dogs were taken to the Northeast Veterinary Referral Hospital where they were defleaed, vaccinated and provided food and water. The dogs gained significant weight and improved in the following weeks, the complaint says.

Reilly relinquished ownership of the 12 living dogs, telling authorities she was saving money to get 2 deceased dogs cremated, according to the complaint.   Reilly admitted that none of the dogs were licensed and vaccinated for rabies.

Reilly refused to comment after the arraignment. She hid her face with court papers as she walked to her vehicle and drove away.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled on January 23rd.

Update 1/11/14:
At Reilly's arraignment, a complaint filed by Kingston Township police and the Humane Society alleges Reilly did "torture and kill" 7 dogs by failing to feed them and provide them with water. Five other dogs were severely emaciated and dehydrated when officers searched her property at 5 Echo Valley Drive on September 27, 2013.

Update 1/24/14:
Reilly accused of leaving 19 dogs behind to die after being evicted from her mobile home in September, 2013 signed a guilty plea agreement on Thursday, January 23rd.

As part of the agreement, more than 30 charges will be dropped against Reilly, in exchange for her guilty plea to 4 misdemeanor counts of cruelty to animals, 12 summary counts of cruelty to animals and 4 counts of failing to have her dogs vaccinated against rabies.

Attorney Garry Taroli said Luzerne County court still has to accept the agreement, but if it does, part of the deal specifies that Reilly cannot own or possess animals for 15 years, during which time a probation officer will supervise her. Taroli also said that if she commits another act of animal cruelty, the offense becomes a felony. "She's what we call an animal hoarder," Taroli said. "We try to prevent these people from owning animals."

Several of the dogs present when police arrived at Reilly's home in September, 2013 were lethargic and emaciated, with "very little flesh on their bodies," the affidavit says. Some of the dogs had matted hair and all were flea-infested and dehydrated, police said.

Reilly was released at her arraignment on $10,000 unsecured bail, saying police had not requested secured bail. Reilly’s formal arraignment is scheduled for April 17 at 2 p.m. in the Luzerne County Courthouse.


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