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Children and dozens of animals removed from filthy house

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Buffalo: Children and dozens of animals removed from filthy house
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Law enforcement is calling it one of the worst cases they've seen after children and animals were found living in filth at a Clarence home. YNN's Katie Cummings has more on the scene and what's next for the people charged.

CLARENCE, N.Y. — “The conditions in the house were easily described as maybe seen in a horror story," said Jerry Schuler, Town of Clarence Animal Control Officer.

Following up on a tip, Clarence Animal Control visited the Goodrich Road home of Matthew and Amie Burkley on Tuesday and found sick animals. A warrant was issued that night and executed Wednesday morning.

Sheriff’s Deputies, along with Animal Control, found at least two dozen animals and four children living in filth.

"The children were outside and they didn’t have socks on," said Det. Christian Parisi, Erie County Sheriff's Office. "There’s fecal matter in the living area, in the bedrooms all over the floors, and the odor of all that is just permeating everything in the home"

Three dogs had to be put down and there were at least another two dozen animals living in the barn in poor condition.

"They’ve been evaluated and the conditions are really bad. There actually scoring techniques that the vets use, body scoring, and they're all on the very bottom of the scale," Schuler said.

The Town of Clarence Animal Control made several visits to the Burkley’s home, warning them to take better care of their animals, but Schuler says the owners were never compliant.

"We've tried to talk to them. I’ve tried to express my feelings that to own this many animals, the amount of money that would take to properly take care of them is phenomenal," Schuler said.

Schuler says animal control will eventually try to re-home all the animals. The children have been placed with family members through child protective services.

Meanwhile, the Burkley’s won’t be returning to their home anytime soon.

"We contacted the Clarence building inspector and he has deemed that it needs to be cleaned up before they can inhabit it again. So at this point they're not allowed back in there," Parisi said.

The couple was released and are scheduled to appear in Clarence Town Court Thursday night to face charges of endangering the welfare of a child and animal cruelty.

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