Animals rescued from LI 'House of Horror'

January 16, 2011 8:21:16 AM PST
It has happened again on Long Island.

Two days after authorities found a house in Rockville Centre filled with neglected dogs and cats, animal rescuers returned to another house in the same community.

This latest case of animal abuse took place at 14 Montauk Avenue and was even worse than the last.

The face of an emaciated Yorkshire Terrier just about says it all.

She was rescued Friday night from what witnesses call "a house of horror" on Montauk Avenue in Rockville Centre.

Prosecutors say Faith Ross, 54, and her daughter Francesca Maselli, 23, are responsible for the cruelty that could have gone on for years.

One rescuer said the home was one of the worst he'd ever seen.

Animal rescuer John Allback was there, he said there was so much trash in the home a person couldn't even walk through it.

Now, the rescued animals are clearly the lucky ones but some of them are struggling in tiny cages next to the muzzled skulls and the bones of the other 26 animals that did not make it out alive.

Allback said there were dogs, cats, birds, lizards and ferrets.

At the house, which is now condemned, you can still see evidence of trash; both outside and inside Ross' SUV.

The bags piled up, neighbors telling Eyewitness News they saw the women dragging bags in and out but had no clue about what was going on inside.

"[I had] no idea. No, if I did, I would've said something a long time ago," neighbor Jerry Finelli said.

Neighbors say they did hear the shrieking noise of dogs for years, yet they never saw Ross or her daughter walking any of them except for once.

"She was walking a little dog and I saw her kick it and I had a feeling something was going on there," neighbor Millie Blake said.

On Friday night, one resident complained of a gas leak at this address and rescuers never imagined what they'd find.

"Their muzzles were taped. So clearly the dogs couldn't bark, nor could they eat. Last night was the most grizly scene we've ever seen," said Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray.

Ross and Maselli are both being held on $95,000 bail.

Officials rescued two cats and 13 dogs including Chihuahuas, dachshunds, a Yorkshire terrier, an English bulldog, a shih tzu and a boxer.

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