SCRAPS officers took 17 animals -- including eight dogs, six cats, two horses and a llama -- from a Cheney home Wednesday for what they believe might be animal cruelty.
SCRAPS received a complaint during the Watermelon Hill fire about five horses that were temporarily evacuated to the Cheney rodeo grounds. The reporting party said that three of the horses were emaciated.
Animal control officers found the horses and determined that those three did show signs of malnourishment and obtained a search warrant for the house where they were from, which was executed Wednesday.
The officers say that the residence had horrific conditions, with the interior filled with feces, urine and garbage, and they went ahead and rescued the 17 animals from the premises.
“The animals are currently on their way to a veterinarian. One of the cats we took is currently in labor. So she's going to be seen by a veterinarian. We have some dogs that are bred. The horses that are emaciated are going to be seen by a vet so we're going to get them checked out immediately,” animal control officer Nicole Montano said.
Charges are pending at this time. Animal protection officers say they are going look at the evidence and see what they have, but the owner of the animals could face a second-degree animal cruelty charge, a gross misdemeanor. If convicted the maximum penalty is 364 days in jail and up to a $5,000 fine.
Because this is an ongoing investigation the animals are not available for adoption.