West York Borough Police charged a 34-year-old woman today after they found the house in which she was living -- along with four children and numerous cats and dogs -- was unsanitary and unsafe, according to a news release.
Rebecca Marie Jackson faces four counts of endangering the welfare of children and cruelty to animals, according to the news release.
Police said that on Tuesday, they went to Jackson's home in the 1600 block of Monroe Street for someone making threats. Once there, they noticed the home's condition, according to the news release.
York County Children, Youth and Family Services were called to take custody of the children -- whose ages ranged from 7 to 14, the York County SPCA was called to take away the animals, and the West York Fire Department's codes division then locked the house and declared it uninhabitable.
Since 2003, police and social services have been called to Jackson's home 21 times for various reasons, including health hazards and violent dogs, according to the news release.
Reported earlierYork, PA - A West York home was deemed "unfit for human occupancy" Tuesday night after several animals were seized by the SPCA because of unsanitary conditions, officials said.
Capt. Chuck Zienkiewicz from the West York Fire Department said members of the department's code enforcement division marked the Monroe Street house as unfit and then on Wednesday morning, posted "correction orders," which are the measures that need to take place in order for the house to be habitable again.
The correction orders posted on the front door include: fixing the plumbing and electricity to be fixed, clearing a path of travel throughout the home and exterminating all insects and rodents there.
Zienkiewicz said his department's role in the case was minimal: "All we did was mark it unfit and lock it up . . . the rest of the property is still under investigation through the West York Police Department."
Zienkiewicz said the department's codes enforcement officers were called to the home by police because "there was a police incident there."
Officer David Kahley with West York Police said in an email that the investigation is ongoing, but charges were expected to be filed Thursday. Kahley declined to give any other details.
Melissa Smith, executive director of the York County SPCA, said three dogs and eight cats were signed over by the owner Tuesday night.
"It was indeed very unsanitary, but most of it was related to people, not the animals," Smith said.
All of the animals were "severely flea ridden," Smith said. The dogs were within a "marginal" body weight and the kittens were very small for their age.
Smith said the owner was told her animals would not be returned to her.
Alisa Vedder, who lives across the street, said a single mother with four children lived there until this week. There was almost no sign of the dogs, but neighbors frequently spotted cats on the roof, she said.
Vedder said she called police after one of the children alerted her to a problem at the house. Shortly after, authorities hung the notice on the door that said the structure was unfit for human occupancy, she said.
Neighbor Kim Welsh said she was inside the home, in the 1600 block of Monroe Street, two years ago to deliver some Christmas gifts. The smell was so awful, she had to leave, she said.
Welsh said her husband called code enforcement several times to complain about the mess outside the house. Officials have been there many times before, she said.
"That's the eyesore of our neighborhood," said neighbor Ericah Brunner. "And it's not because people haven't reached out."
The home's occupant could not be reached for comment.
Several code violations were posted to the door of the West York home. The signs read that all violations must be corrected before the home can be reoccupied.
--- The home must be maintained in sanitary conditions. It must be free of insects and rodents, and it must be exterminated by an approved process.
--- All plumbing fixtures have to be properly installed and in working order. The plumbing system constitutes a hazard to the occupants because of damage and/or sewer backup. It must be repaired by an approved agency.
--- A safe, continuous and unobstructive path of travel must be provided from any point in the building to a public way.
--- The interior of the home must be free of accumulation of rubbish or garbage.
--- The electrical system in the home has been found a hazard to the occupant. It must be repaired by an approved agency.