Over 200 animals seized from Tremont home by Cleveland APL

Posted at 10:07 PM, Dec 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-01 22:07:28-05

"Goats and pigs and chickens and pigeons and turkeys and rabbits and all kinds of stuff," said Neighbor Beth Smith.

It is an animal hoarding case, like the City of Cleveland has never seen. More than 200 farm animals, packed into a backyard of a Tremont house.

According to the city's 'restrictions on keeping farm animals' ordinance, a home is required to have 800 square feet of space for every chicken, duck or rabbit.

We went to the house in the 36-hundred block of Bailey Avenue where 211 animals were seized by the Cleveland APL.

"Just shocked, that's all I can say," said next door neighbor Jules Blyler. "They're polite neighbors. They come over once a week, hand us eggs."

He moved in seven months ago. He says the man and woman who live in this house are married, in their 50s, and from a foreign country. He tells News 5 the animals are not part of a farming business or operation; they were pets.

"You had a couple in there that looked unhealthy, but what do you expect with 200 animals," said Blyler.

"This is a first, and this is massive," said Sharon Harvey, CEO, Cleveland APL.

Harvey says some of the animals are in rough shape.

"The conditions in the yard as you can imagine with this number of animals were extremely poor," said Harvey.

She says some are extremely thin, and others have sores. According to the Cleveland Department of Public Health, a person can have two farm animals if their property is 14,400 square feet, with one additional animal per each additional 1,200 square feet.

"Normal roosters in the morning, I got used to the sounds actually. It's pretty quiet now," said Smith.

Smith says she's baffled by the news.

"We didn't think it was that many just maybe a few roosters, a couple chickens and that was it," said Smith.

The animals were seized after a call was made to the APL humane investigations hotline. We are told this is the first complaint about this house. Charges for violating the number of animals allowed on a property, as well as cruelty and neglect charges, are pending.