• BREAKING NEWS Shelter in place lifted after prisoner captured

New details in Shirley animal hoarding case

February 23, 2011 3:18:24 PM PST
It was an astonishing discovery in a filthy house in Shirley.

According to investigators, 36 Malba Drive was 1,400 square feet of squalor.

"I don't even know if there are words to describe it, how it felt to see my family being made a mockery," Matt Warner said.

But a day later Warner is rising to his brother Alan's defense.

For months, animal control authorities say the 23 year old man from Shirley was hoarding dozens of farm animals in and around the home of a family friend, a woman in her eighties who suffers from dementia.

Warner says Alan was just trying to help her, along with the animals he took in.

"He lost control of it and it came to a point before he could fix the problem that someone else did for him," Warner said.

Authorities say this is the worst they've seen. They found a bull calf in the sunroom and rescued a 250 pound pig and a giant rabbit.

They found almost a hundred dead or dying animals. Seventy-six are now under the care of Suffolk County veterinarians.

Experts say many animal hoarders are actually mentally ill, thinking they're helping animals but actually forcing them to live in appalling conditions.

Investigators call it criminal.

"It's still animal abuse. It's still animal neglect. No animal should have to live in the conditions we took animals out of last night," Sgt. Regina Benfante of the Suffolk SPCA said.

On a bus, doctors are trying to nurse many of the animals back to heath. As for Alan Warner, he's already been cited for code enforcement violations and now the SPCA is considering criminal charges for abuse and neglect.

DO YOU HAVE PHOTOS OR VIDEOS TO ADD TO THIS STORY? CLICK HERE TO UPLOAD THEM TO IWITNESS.7ONLINE.COM, OR E-MAIL THEM TO IWITNESS@WABC.COM


Load Comments