A city woman has been offering haunted hayrides across East Side property, but to some, the most haunting aspect of the ride is the condition of animals.
Police charged Tricia Floyd, 59, of Atkinson Avenue, with having litter, garbage, rubbish and junk on her property. She also is facing a second misdemeanor charge of failing to clear the property of weeds and plants.
She is scheduled to appear Dec. 5 before Judge Robert Milich of Youngstown Municipal Court.
Floyd had been charging $7 for haunted hayrides across the Atkinson Avenue property under the name Frightmare Forest Haunted Hayride every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Police said the property also is known as the Lazy Dazy Farm.
Several patrons complained that the animals on the property appeared to be mistreated with one of them possibly having broken legs.
Patrons also reported the property is in “deplorable condition” with large amounts of debris and rubbish.
Many of those visiting the property for the hayride attraction were so disturbed by the condition of the animals and property that they called the mayor’s office, Animal Charity and the Mahoning County dog warden’s office.
Laura Fulmer, city housing code enforcement officer, Dave Nelson, a deputy dog warden, and agents with Animal Charity converged on the property Tuesday for an inspection.
Fulmer said the home’s front porch was filled from floor to ceiling with indoor furniture, trash, hay and debris. She said the 60-acre yard was filled with everything from tires, car parts and scrap metal to animal cages, mattresses and children’s toys.
Reports say grass had grown over piles of debris in the yard, creating a nesting area for rats.
Fulmer said Floyd also did not have the proper permits to operate the hayride attraction.
Floyd said Thursday she does not believe the mayor and city officials were flooded with calls. She said “a longtime enemy” is responsible for calling the city.
Floyd said what appears to be debris and trash are the remains of a fire on the property July 9. She said most of the items will be scrapped after it is inventoried.
“We are just not done with everything yet,” she said. “The scrap we cannot scrap yet because it hasn’t been inventoried. We can’t take it away until the insurance company clears it.”
Nelson and humane agents reported 15 dogs, five horses and several cats on the property.
Nelson told Floyd she would need to obtain a kennel license to keep the dogs on the property. Humane agents gave Floyd a written warning stating that they would return to the property in seven days to check on the animals.
Floyd said the dogs dropped in weight after the fire. She said she has continually tried to bring them up to proper weight and will continue to do so.
The horses, she said, are in good shape.
Floyd said she does not own any cats. She admits several stray felines stay on her property and sometimes sneak into her home. She said she will not chase animals away and feels a level of affection for them.
“All my animals are rescued or abandoned,” Floyd said. “They [city officials] said they got a lot of reports from the hayride. I am trying to figure out what this is all about. Animals like me, so they are here. I don’t chase them off, and I take care of them if they come.”
Floyd maintains that not one animal in her care is mistreated and her property will soon be up to code. She previously was cited by city officials for not properly registering her dogs in 2000.