PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Police found almost 20 dead animals on a property, and now a Butler County couple are facing animal cruelty charges.

When 19 dead animals were found in containers and plastic bags, the Butler County humane police officer says this isn’t the first time.

She says the same two people are responsible for an earlier incident where more than five dead cats were allegedly found abandoned.

Pictures captured by the humane officer tell a horrific story of animal abuse.

The photos show a scenario where 18 cats and one dog were found dead in carriers, bins and plastic bags that were tossed in the woods behind a house in Winfield Township, Butler County.

Janice Lawniczak, who took the pictures says this is the worst case she has encountered as a humane officer.

(Photo Credit: Janice Lawniczak)

“Disgust and just sadness for those poor animals,” she says.

“They would’ve been better off if they had just to let them go; to release them and let them fend for themselves. They were in locked carriers”.

Investigators say the people responsible for the dead animals are Tamara Rusz and Kevin Delehanty.

“The woman whose property it is, it was her daughter and the daughter’s boyfriend that were living back there in a tent,” Lawniczak says.

“And she said she wasn’t aware of any of this”.

According to the humane officer this is the second time this has happened. Back in November, dead cats were found near the same area.

The suspects were to appear in court Wednesday but only Delehanty appeared.

Lawniczak: He actually said that he was taking care of his cats and feeding them.
Brenda Waters: Did he say what happened to them?
Lawniczak: He said they had nowhere to put them so they were live cats when they put them in the woods and they were in carriers.

The humane officer says she is seeking felony charges when the case goes to trial.