BOARDMAN Dogs are rescued at trash-filled house

The house and yard are littered with trash.
BOARDMAN -- Two shepherd mix dogs taken from a trash- filled Glenwood Avenue home will be evaluated by animal care workers today.
Humane officer Dave Nelson said he expects that one may have to be euthanized.
The dogs were taken Monday from the bathroom and kitchen of the home at 7535 Glenwood after police were called to the residence by neighbors over the weekend. Both animals were chained, with one on a 10- to 12-inch cable that kept him from moving his head.
Nelson said there was so much trash in the home that investigators could not get to a dog in the kitchen and had to break down a back door to rescue the animal. A path was cleared through the trash in other areas of the home.
Investigators wore air masks as they went through the house on the plus-90-degree day because of the stench of the garbage, Nelson said.
Boardman police Lt. Jack Nichols said he could not make his way into the home because of the garbage and that the odor was "worse than a rotten body."
Neighbors said the homeowner had not been seen for two weeks and was visiting relatives, Nelson said.
The woman who owns the home is in her 70s or 80s and appeared Monday in Mahoning County Probate Court, where her mental competency is being evaluated, said Darren L. Crivelli, Boardman's assistant zoning inspector.
Charges planned
Nelson said he plans to have her charged with two counts of animal cruelty and two counts of abandonment.
Crivelli said neighbors reported that two other adults, suspected to be the woman's children, also were seen living at the home.
He said trash in the home was piled 6 or 7 feet high and trash piled in the yard was covered with tarps.
Crivelli said he hopes to have the house declared a nuisance and was to discuss that possibility with trustees today. If so, the homeowner would have seven days to clean up the yard and exterior. If she does not comply, the township would hire a contractor to clean up the mess and assess her tax bill for the cost.
Although Crivelli said the township can cite the homeowner only for exterior problems, he added that the county board of health is working to declare the home uninhabitable.
He said the homeowner is current on her taxes. She has been cited in the past for exterior violations of township regulations, he said, but each time she complied by bringing the yard up to code.
Nelson said he thinks there is also a cat in the home and planned to set a trap for the animal today.

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