Published January 17, 2013
CLARENCE, N.Y. – A western New York couple face charges of child endangerment and animal cruelty after authorities say they found four children living among two dozen animals and filthy conditions inside their home.
WKBW News reports that authorities uncovered the deplorable living conditions while executing a search warrant on the couple's barn after receiving a tip from someone who said they helped bury dead horses on the property.
A pig, rabbits, prairie dogs and tortoises reportedly were among animals found living inside the house in ankle-deep waste. Llamas, cows and other animals were in the barn.
"There is fecal matter in living area, in the bedrooms, all over the floors," Erie County Sheriff's Detective Christian Parisi told WKBW News.
The house was declared unlivable by a building inspector and several dogs had to be euthanized due to poor health, the report states.
"The smell of the house was overwhelming before you even got into the house. The conditions in the house were easily described as may be seen in a horror story," Jerry Schuler, animal control officer for the town of Clarence, told WKBW News.
The children are between 7 and 15 years old.
Amie Burkley, 36 and her husband, Matthew Burkley, 37, were charged with four counts of misdemeanor endangering the welfare of a child and five counts of animal cruelty, according to the report.
The couple will appear in Clarence Justice court at a later date.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.