BERWICK — The Pennsylvania SPCA’s Humane Law Enforcement team removed 37 animals from a property in Columbia County on Tuesday, May 25, over concerns for their welfare.

The organization’s officers received a call from first responders at a property on Vine Street in Berwick. While responding to a medical emergency, responders reported finding a large number of animals living “in unsanitary conditions at the location.”

After executing a search warrant, the PSPCA’s Humane Law Enforcement team reported finding dogs, puppies, cats, kittens and a hamster inside the home living, with the floors allegedly completely covered in excrement.

Upon further investigation, the officers determined that a mother dog and her six puppies had been moved to another location prior to the officers’ arrival. Due to their efforts, a German Shepherd type dog, and her six 5- to 6-week-old puppies were returned to the property and subsequently signed over to the Pennsylvania SPCA.

Animals seized included: 19 cats, which included newborns and various aged kittens; two husky puppies; 10 adult dogs; a hamster; and the mother German Shepherd and her six puppies. All were transported to the Pennsylvania SPCA’s Philadelphia headquarters.

All will be examined and cared for by the organization’s medical team and receive the veterinary care they need. The majority of the animals rescued were signed over to the organization’s custody and when both medically cleared and of appropriate ages will be available for adoption. The remaining eight animals will remain under the protective custody of the Pennsylvania SPCA until the adjudication of the court case or owner surrender.

“Though the laws in the state of Pennsylvania categorize animals as property, at the Pennsylvania SPCA we view them as so much more,” said Julie Klim, CEO of the Pennsylvania SPCA. “Our Humane Law Enforcement Officers spend their days rescuing animals from cruelty and neglect, often in grueling conditions like yesterday’s. It is extremely difficult work, but seeing these animals rescued and given a chance at a brighter tomorrow makes it all worth it.”

The investigation into animal cruelty and neglect is ongoing, and charges are pending the conclusion of the full investigation.

Anyone with information about this case, or other cases involving animal cruelty, is urged to call the Pennsylvania SPCA’s Cruelty Hotline at 866-601-SPCA. Tips can be left anonymously.

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