Arundel House Is Condemned, Dogs Taken

August 29, 2009|By Nicole Fuller | Nicole Fuller,nicole.fuller@baltsun.com

Anne Arundel County authorities removed 21 malnourished and flea-infested dogs Friday morning from an Orchard Beach home filled with animal feces and deemed uninhabitable.

County police, Animal Control and a representative from the office of County Executive John R. Leopold went to the home in the 7900 block of Sea Breeze Drive about 11:30 a.m. and found the dogs after a neighbor complained about an odor emanating from the home and the presence of howling dogs.

Nineteen dogs were found inside the home and two dogs were taken from a trailer on the property; they all were transported to Animal Control in Millersville for assessment.

No charges were filed, but authorities were still investigating, Leopold said.

The county Health Department condemned the home, pointing to unsanitary conditions. Members of the county Fire Department's Hazmat team wore oxygen masks when entering the home.

Authorities did not identify the home's occupants, but neighbors and property records identify the owner as Janet E. Taylor.

Neighbors said Taylor lives there with an adult son. Neither could be reached for comment.

Krysta Dear, 23, who lives across the street, said she had called both the Health Department and Animal Control for several months to report the odor and alleged dog abuse but had gotten no response. On Friday morning, she called again to complain.

"We've been on a crusade," Dear said of herself and her neighbors. "You can hear the dogs howling."

Joan Harris, a community liaison for Leopold, received Dear's call.

After about 15 minutes of knocking, a shirtless and shoeless man emerged and, according to Harris, said, "All right, all right. You can come in. But you're not going to like what you'll see."

The man signed over his rights to the dogs to Animal Control. The dogs, Harris said, were "petrified."

Dear, who owns two rescue dogs - a 13-year-old female named Southpaw and a 1 1/2 -year-old male named Baxter - said she was relieved that the dogs across the street were finally safe.

"There were some puppies," Dear said. "Their bellies were so full of worms. I was crying. It was the saddest thing."

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