WASHINGTON, Pa. (KDKA) – Three people were arrested on animal cruelty charges after nearly 100 animals were seized in Washington County.
State police say a search warrant resulted in the seizure of 92 dogs in Washington County in the summer of 2018. One cat was also seized, bringing the total to 93.READ MORE: Sinkhole Shuts Down Busy Bellevue Intersection, Crews Working On Repairs
Responding to reports of injured strays coming from a farm at 4143 Hamilton Acres in Hopewell Township, Washington County last August, humane officer Cathy Cunningham led a raid on the farm and couldn’t believe what she was looking at.
“I’ve been doing this 13 years and it ranks in my top five (worst). It was deplorable and uninhabitable by man or beast,” she said.
The three women arrested, arraigned and released on bond were 30-year-old Lucy Binakonsky, 26-year-old Emily Binakonsky and 64-year-old Charlotte Binakonsky.
Approximately 100 dogs, German Shorthaired Pointers, a well-known breed of hunting dog, were found living in what’s described as deplorable conditions.
“Many of the dogs had scars. Three or four, their hair is destroyed so they have no hair so they have to have a coat or sunscreen on to go outside,” Cunningham says.
“At least three of the dogs cannot go outside without goggles on because their eyes are so damaged from the filth.”
After the rescue, two dogs died, three others remain in medically serious condition and the others all still have medical issues.READ MORE: Amazon Air Begins Daily Cargo Service At Pittsburgh International Airport
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The state police were alerted to the situation by neighbors, who said there were warning signs.
They say some of the dogs started getting loose and running around the neighborhood, showing up hungry on doorsteps. The community and people who love the breed then started connecting on Facebook.
State Trooper Anthony Sayles, who is leading the investigation, wouldn’t talk about what may have been happening on the farm because the investigation isn’t over.
“There’s other portions that need to be investigated outside of the farm,” he says.
If there is any good news in the story of these dogs, Cunningham says it’s that “all but two of the German Short Hair Pointers are now in loving caring homes, many of them with ongoing medical conditions.”
Their new owners post photos to a Facebook page specifically set up for the Hopewell 92.MORE NEWS: Computer Chip Shortage Causing A Slow Down In The New Car Market
Meanwhile, as police continue to investigate, more arrests and charges are possible.