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Police find emaciated dog, dead rabbit; man faces charges

Skyler Moore, 25, of Tamaqua, was charged with aggravated cruelty to animals and other offenses after police found a severely emaciated dog and deceased rabbit inside his extremely littered home.

Tamaqua police were dispatched to Moore’s home on the 500 block of Rolling Mill Avenue on Feb. 23 for a complaint of a barking dog. Police spoke with the complainant who said that the dog had been inside the house for months, and had not had any food or water, and was not let outside to relieve itself.

Officers said the structure had a note posted on its front door saying that its water would shut off that day. In their report, officers noted that the outside of the home is “disgusting and run down.”

Police heard a dog barking inside the building and unsuccessfully attempted to reach the Pennsylvania dog Warden.

The following morning, police returned to the home with a borough code official and SPCA humane officer. They contacted Moore who owns and previously lived at the residence, and owns the dog. Moore told police that he had been feeding the dog twice each day.

Police said that trash inside the home was so high that they were unable to see the floor but saw no food or water bowls for the dog. Officers said the dog was extremely emaciated and malnourished, and noticed its rib bones were protruding and its nose was bleeding.

Police also noticed a dead rabbit in a cage that was filled with four inches of feces. Officers said it appeared the rabbit was trying to eat a blanket and plastic for nourishment before it died.

In her report, the SPCA officer noted that the home smelled of ammonia and fecal matter and that trash was piled “inches to feet deep.” She said Moore could not find the water and food dishes he said he had provided for the dog.

The SPCA officer also noted that the dog was very think, and had irritated skin around its muzzle and eyes.

As for the dead rabbit, the SPCA officer said a necropsy determined that it had severe emaciation, severe overgrowth of nails and other issues.

A medical evaluation revealed the dog had a severe, hacking cough, and a skin condition. Moore signed the dog over to the care of the Hillside SPCA.

He faces charges of aggravated cruelty to animals; cruelty to animals, neglect of animals for not providing sustenance and water; neglect of animals for not providing shelter or protection, and neglect of animals for failure to provide veterinary care.