Rowhouse yields more animals

June 06, 1994|By Katherine Richards | Katherine Richards,Sun Staff Writer

City police seized 22 more dogs, cats, rabbits, gerbils and hamsters from a roach- and flea-infested South Baltimore rowhouse yesterday, two days after removing 63 animals from the home.

Three adult residents of the home in the 1900 block of Ramsay St. were taken to University Hospital for emergency psychiatric evaluation, said Sgt. James Starleper, of the Baltimore police.

"According to animal control, they took outstanding care of the animals," he said. "They took better care of the animals than they did themselves."

The animals confiscated yesterday apparently had been collected by the rowhouse's residents in the last two days, Sergeant Starleper said.

He said feces and urine filled the home, which was infested with fleas, ticks and roaches. The residents, a woman and two men, were removed because of concerns for their health and safety and that of neighbors.

When police entered the rowhouse yesterday, Sergeant Starleper said, "The roaches started pouring out, thousands and thousands . . . We all have to be fumigated."

"They were in my boots," said Officer W. R. Silvers Jr., shuddering.

On Friday, Sergeant Starleper said, police removed 63 animals from the home, including dogs, cats, rats, mice, hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs, rabbits and a toad.

"We advised the three that they had to clean up their home," he said, and they were charged with 13 animal-control violations.

Outside the rowhouse yesterday, about 40 neighbors and onlookers stomped fleeing roaches and sprayed bug killer as they wondered whether their missing pets had been found.

Ted Cook, who lives around the corner from the home, said he and his roommates had seen their dog, Deejay, a boxer-bulldog that disappeared from their back yard six weeks ago, on television as she was removed from the home.

Russell Ladd Jr., 18, stood on the sidewalk with a snapshot of his dog, Bud, a collie-German shepherd taken from his back porch two years ago. Several friends told him they had seen Bud on television, being removed from the house.

Mr. Ladd said when he contacted the city animal shelter he was told it would cost him $132 to retrieve his pet. "I want to get him, but I don't have that kind of money to get him now," Mr. Ladd said, adding that he had been told Bud could be destroyed if not claimed within five days.

But Elias A. Dorsey, deputy health commissioner, said yesterday the department would waive all costs except license fees for owners of pets found in the home.

Exterminators fumigated the rowhouse and those on either side of it yesterday afternoon about 5 p.m., said Alma Grove, whose father lives next door to the house where the animals were found.

"I called the Housing Authority," said Kimberly Smith, whose father lived on the other side of the house until the stench and fleas drove him to her house three months ago. "I called the Police Department. I called the Fire Department. I just called [City Council President] Mary Pat Clarke on Friday. . . . The problems could have been corrected a long time ago."

Cynthia Tensley, president of the Carrollton Ridge Community Association, said some neighbors wanted to know what they could do to help clean up the home, even though the rowhouse's residents had refused help before. The neighbors didn't want to be punitive, she said, adding, "We're trying to build a community here."

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