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Woman leaves ‘emaciated’ dogs in abandoned Washington Ave. home

Animal cruelty, specifically dog cruelty has made national headlines all last year in light of famed NFL quarterback Michael Vick with his now infamous and defunct “Bad Newz Kennels” in Virginia.
Perhaps the incident in Tyrone Borough this past Friday, January 11 wasn’t quite “Vickesque,” but nonetheless cruel and unnecessary.
Penny Chamberlain, 36, faces charges including five counts of animal cruelty and disorderly conduct after Tyrone police claim that she left five dogs in a house owned by Chamberlain at 312 Washington Avenue in the borough.
The dogs were being kept in a bedroom located beside the kitchen. The room consisted of three metal medium-sized kennels that held a medium-sized Rottweiler in each one. There was an additional medium-sized kennel holding a small Rat Terrier, along with a plastic carrying kennel holding an additional Rat Terrier.
Officers noted that all of the dogs appeared “emaciated with the hip bones and rib bones being extremely prominent,” according to court documents.
An anonymous tip led police and the Central Pennsylvania Humane Society (CPHS) to the home where the five emaciated dogs were discovered. Chamberlain told police she hadn’t lived at that residence for some time and lives now on Logan Avenue, only keeping the dogs at the Washington Ave. home.
Police reported that upon inspection of the residence, there was an overwhelming ammonia, toxic smell that is “very harmful” to both human and animal life. There was an abundance of feces and urine on both the bedroom and kitchen floors.
Tyrone Borough Police Chief Joe Beachem said it was very apparent that the dogs were malnourished and added that one of the officers told him that “they didn’t even look like Rottweilers anymore,” because the dogs were so emaciated.
“It’s despicable to treat an animal that way and in every case such as this, we will file whatever charges we can under the law,” stated Beachem.
The conditions inside the Washington Ave. house were deplorable and bad enough for Tyrone Borough Code Enforcement Officer James Metzgar to condemn the home owned by Chamberlain.
Metzgar is drafting up the condemnation notice today due to the numerous violations in the house such as the lack of running water and heat, violations on the garage and the residence simply being uninhabitable and unacceptable to the borough.
“There will be a compliance date set and if she [Chamberlain] doesn’t meet that date, a citation will go out and she will go to district court,” said Metzgar.
He added, “The focus right now within the borough is property maintenance. Residents need to be aware that I’ll be out come spring-time looking at properties in this borough and trying to get the area cleaned up.”
The dogs were removed from the condemned residence by the CPHS to receive treatment for malnourishment and other medical means.