Mary Lou Petrucci

Hoarder - Nearly 50 animals rescued from a feces-infested home

New Hanover, PA

July 14, 2006

A search and seizure warrant was served on Mary Lou Petrucci (DOB 6/25/57) on July 14th by the Montgomery County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals after complaints of an ‘overpowering smell of urine and feces was reportedly coming from the home.

Officials found 31 dogs, 16 cats, 3 box turtles and a rabbit living in their own waste in the home. The cats were found in a separate trailer on the property. The animal waste was found everywhere.  It was also noted that the home was without running water and the basement was filled with 4-5 feet of water.

Inspection of the animals revealed various eye and ear infections, birth defects, club feet, heat stroke, flea infestation and skin ailments.  The animals were malnourished and lacked various vaccinations, including rabies.

Petrucci faces charges of 49 counts of animal cruelty for lack of food, water, sanitation and veterinary care.  The Pennsylvania Bureau of Dog Law is adding an additional 79 counts of animal cruelty for operating a kennel without a license.  The crimes are all misdemeanors.

Petrucci wants her animals back, as she does not think the SPCA has grounds for taking them.  The SPCA has witnessed this type of animal ‘hoarding’ before. In Petrucci’s case, many of the dogs came from inter-breeding among the existing animals, although she was not running a puppy mill.

All the animals rescued were taken to the Perkiomenville SPCA where their injuries are still being assessed.  It is still unclear the extent of damage and respiratory these animals have incurred. The animals will stay in the care of the SPCA until the case is resolved, thus not up for adoption.

Update 8/8/06:

(photo courtesy of the Chestnut Hill Local news) The Montgomery County SPCA in Conshohocken is looking for loving adoptive familes and contributions are also desparetely needed to care for the number of animals. For more inforamtion, call Kimberley Bonanni at 610-825-0111.

Reference:

Pottstown Mercury

Chestnut Hill Local

KWY1060 News radio