Harford County Investigates Animal Hoarding In Wake Of Fire
Dozens of dead animals were found inside a home in the 2400 block of Rocks Road in Forest Hill following a fire at the home.
Dozens of animals were found dead inside a Forest Hill home following a Monday night fire, and county officials are investigating the home as a possible case of animal hoarding.
Around 11:16 p.m. a fire broke out in the kitchen of a one-story home in the 2400 block of Rocks Road in Forest Hill, according to a release from the Maryland State Fire Marshal's Office.
Firefighters arrived to combat the blaze, and quickly controlled it. After suppressing the fire, firefighters found a number of dead cats and other animals inside the house, according to a release from Harford County Government.
Firefighters called in county animal control and department of licencing and permits to assist at the scene.
Animal Control officers along with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources returned to the home Tuesday and recovered 30 dead animals, including reptiles from the one-story home, according to the release. Among the dead animals was a fox that was found inside a refrigerator.
At least a dozen cats that died due to the fire had been buried on the property before officials arrived Tuesday, according to the county release.
Officials removed six cats, two dogs, nine raccoons and three turtles which were found alive on the Rocks Road property. The live animals were taken to the Humane Society of Harford County for check-ups and a safe place to stay. The raccoons will be euthanized, according to the release.
In Harford County, if owners have more than five domestic animals they need a special permit.
No charges have been filed against the homeowners and the investigation is ongoing.
This is not the first case of its kind to be investigated in Harford County or the state as a whole.
A Howard County woman was on trial last week on 60 charges of animal cruelty in connection with 40 dead animals found inside her home.