140 animals, child removed from Athol house




Posted on January 21, 2014 at 8:42 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jan 22 at 7:19 PM

KOOTENAI COUNTY, Idaho --The Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office removed an eight-year-old child and approx. 140 animals from an Athol house.

The Sheriff’s Office received information on Jan. 14 that an eight-year-old girl was living in conditions that were unsanitary and unhealthy. The caller told police the home had no running water or electricity.

Deputies went to the house and found that the conditions that the caller described were very accurate. The house did not have any sewer or functioning septic system and was filled with animal feces, rotting food and garbage.

The deputies took the child into protective custody and requested charges against the parents for Injury to a Child.

"The combination between that, the animals. It's something that makes you take a moment to think about it and try to digest it, because it's just hard to conceive that,” said Kootenai County Fairgrounds General Manager Dane Dugan.

Deputies also requested that the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office Animal Control respond to the house for a welfare check on the numerous domestic and farm animals.

Animal Control Officers found the family had around 140 dogs, cats, goats, rabbits, guinea pigs, ducks, chickens and horses. All of the animals, excluding the dogs and cats, were confined into pens and cages that had no water and most of them were in areas with mounds of feces.

“Got a call that there was some kind of hoarding situation. They needed a place to bring the animals,” said Dugan.

A search warrant was issued and the Sheriff’s Office seized 83 rabbits, 38 guinea pigs, 9 goats, 4 miniature horses, 1 full sized horse, 3 chickens and 1 goose. The animals were transported to the Kootenai County Fairgrounds and are currently being tended to by Fairgrounds staff and volunteers.

“I'm not a vet. But just from general looking at them, they seem extremely really healthy,” said Dugan.

Child abuse and animal abuse cases were pending Wednesday.