Officials in Adams County say they plan to file animal cruelty charges in a case where more than 50 abused and neglected animals - including horses, dogs, cats, guinea pigs and birds - were confiscated from a Reading Township farm.
SPCA Humane Officer Abigail Avery said she found the animals on the farm in the 1400 block of Fish and Game Road when she served a search warrant Monday. Many others were already dead.
"I was shocked by the number of dead animals," Avery said. "We walked around the back and there were just piles of them."
The animals that weren't dead were close to death. Avery said a guinea pig that was seized was found in a cage full of others that had died. The seized cats, she said, were so sick that a dozen had to be put down.
Authorities also confiscated a dog and her litter of puppies, no more than just a few days old.
All of the animals were severely malnourished and many were suffering from wounds, disease, and fleas.
The larger animals were kept outside an old farm building. Adams County Sheriff James Muller, who took in two horses, said the conditions were deplorable.
"It was just a mud hole, that was all it was, a pig sty," Muller said. "No food, no water."
Authorities said the owners told them they were breeding some of the smaller animals to sell to pet stores. They said some were kept in crates that were too small for the animals to turn around.