WEST END (KDKA) – Pittsburgh Police and Animal Control Officers have searched the West End home where investigators discovered 56 dead animals.
On Wednesday, they were seen taking photographs, writing down notes, and peering into trash cans, coolers and barrels across the property.
A neighbor tipped off police about the possibility of animal neglect occurring on the property. When officers arrived at the Arnold Street home late Tuesday afternoon, they found a gruesome scene.
“There were 56 dead animals found on the property, 33 chickens, 18 ducks and five rabbits deceased,” said Officer Christine Luffey.
Officers arrested the homeowner, 52-year-old Dennis Safranko, and he now faces more than 100 felony charges for alleged animal torture and neglect. The deceased animals were lying on the ground and some were in garbage bags or lying dead in cages across the yard.
When interviewed by police, Safranko said he got the animals online and planned to butcher and eat them.
When asked why he didn’t feed or give any water to the animals he offered this response:
“That he was overwhelmed,” said Officer Luffey. “And in all honesty, this is no excuse. No excuse at all to treat an animal this way. Animals need to be taken care of. They count on us every day for care so there’s no excuse.”
Officers peered into hidden corners and the home’s shed in the side and back yard before entering the home through a basement door. Right now, it is unclear if officers expect to find more animals deceased inside.
Neighbor Bonnie Goodnow said she doesn’t understand why Safranko didn’t ask for help.
“I’m shocked. I never seen anything but a few rabbits and a guinea pig on his porch, but I know at one time he was selling rabbits,” she said.
Safranko told police he was “too proud” to ask for help.