EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – A Riverside home from which dozens of animals were removed Friday morning has been condemned, Eyewitness News has learned.
According to authorities on scene, the house – located at 26 Floyd Ave. – was filled with dogs and cats of all sizes and breeds.
Only Eyewitness News was there when police arrested the homeowner who, we’re told, is being charged with assaulting a police officer.
East Providence building official Al Quattrucci said it was the largest amount of animals he’s ever seen inside one house and believes there were more than three dozen cats and dogs inside. He continued that he didn’t believe the building was fit to be inhabited by people or animals. Police removed 20 dogs, 22 cats, one bearded dragon and one mouse from the home.
“There’s no smoke detectors, there’s nothing, there’s all kinds of blankets hanging, partitions with lights going through them, the worst hazard I’ve seen in almost 30 years,” Quattrucci said.
At least four people are believed to be living in the house, including two adults and two kids.
Conditions in the house were so poor Quattrucci said he condemned the building on site. Crews immediately began boarding up the windows.
The Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) arrived on scene just before 11 a.m. and began their own investigation. DCYF officials said they were looking into the house prior to Friday.
Police at the scene said the animals appeared to be in good health and well-loved, but they were being removed due to safety concerns.
“It’s not that big of a house, I can’t imagine that they were living well in that house,” Neighbor Anastasia Taylor said.
The animals are being housed at the East Providence Animal Shelter. The animals are not up for adoption because the investigation is still active, according to Animal Control Officer William Muggle.
Muggle says illegal breeding and illegal selling are being looked into and the home could be considered a puppy mill.