MENASHA - Menasha health officials have declared a home unfit to live in because of its unsanitary conditions. Four children and more than two dozen animals were removed from a house on the 600 block of Nassau Street.
The health department and police checked out the home after neighbors complained of foul odors.
"Six dogs, nine love birds, a number of exotic chickens and three rabbits," said Fox Valley Humane Association director Deb Lewis.
A variety of animals all in poor health. Living in their own feces.
"This, in my opinion, is a neglect, abuse case," she said.
Twenty-eight animals were removed from the same Menasha home last month.
"The conditions were horrendous, the ammonia levels were so high humans couldn't go in without a mask," said Kelly Bowers, who works at the shelter and went to the home to remove the animals.
Yet a family with four children lived inside the home.
"Because of the conditions inside the home and the dangers to the kids because of the ammonia levels, they were removed and placed with relatives and the pets were taken," said Officer Aaron Zemlock of the Menasha Police Department.
FOX 11 spoke to several neighbors who did not want to go on camera. They say they didn't really know the family but say the children always appeared healthy. But they do say the smell made them wonder about the cleanliness inside the home.
Lewis says this in not a case of animal hoarding. She says this is the second time animals have been taken from the home. Lewis says the owner breeds the dogs to sell, but she isn't sure what the other animals were kept for.
"It's very frustrating, it's frustrating for the staff to see this happen again for these animals, it's also frustrating because it's happened to the children. The children are living in this along with the animals," she said.
The husband has been referred to the Winnebago County District Attorney's office for charges on four counts of child neglect and six counts of animal neglect. Charges have not yet been filed in the case. In 2008, 14 dogs were removed from the home but the homeowner was allowed to get them back after cleaning the home.
The animals are currently being held at the Fox Valley Humane Association as possible evidence if charges are filed. The shelter hopes to gain custody of the animals to put them up for adoption.
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