28 Animals, 4 Kids Removed From Menasha Home
28 Animals, 4 Kids Removed From Menasha HomePhoto: Video by nbc26.com
MENASHA, WI--Four children and nearly 30 animals have been removed from a Menasha home after the health departmen determined it was too filthy to live in.
The house is on the Menasha side of Doty Island on the 300 block of Nassau Street. Police say neighbors complained about a strong odor coming from the home.
Police say they are "loads" of pictures of the conditions inside the home but they can't release the photos, they are evidence in an ongoing investigation. But police are calling this one of the worst cases of its kind in the last two decades.
The strong smell of urine, reaching all the way to the sidewalk, sometimes wafting into neighbors' homes, is what led police to investigate the house.
Carolyn Zoglman lives next door.
"It was strong especially when it was a really hot day and breezy," said Zoglman.
But she had no idea how many animals were inside.
"They had a dog pen in the back. I was thinking it was the dog pen that hadn't been cleaned up very much," said Zoglman.
It turns out six dogs, 12 parakeets, five chickens, three rabbits and two pigeons were inside.
"You're seeing dogs with lots of urine scars on their paws, lots of skin irritation," said the executive director of the Fox Valley Humane Association.
The Fox Valley Humane Association can't show us the animals because they're considered evidence in the investigation, but the director says the staff had to wear masks to enter the home.
"They couldn't stay in the house. Could you imagine then the conditions of the animals and children that lived in it?" said Lewis.
Social services placed four children, ages five through 12, in the care of family members.
"Talking to the officers that were out there this is probably the worst case they'd seen in 24 years," said Officer Zemlock.
Zoglman says the kids always seemed well cared for and hopes the family can recover.
"I'd like to see them monitored. See them keep their house clean and keep their children," said Zoglman.
The father of the children has not yet been charged. He is facing counts of child neglect and mistreating animals.
Police say neighbors filed complaints about the home in 2008, but the time period to check on the home had expired. Officers have been relying on neighbors for information.