Dozens of Animals, Children Found Living in Filth

January 17, 2013 Updated Oct 29, 2013 at 3:45 AM EDT

By WKBW News
By Allen Leight

January 17, 2013 Updated Oct 29, 2013 at 3:45 AM EDT

CLARENCE, NY (WKBW) - Two Clarence parents are facing charges after police find their four children living with dozens of animals inside their feces filled home, authorities say.

Erie County Sheriff's deputies and Town of Clarence Animal Control officers executed a warrant on a barn on Goodrich Road Wednesday morning after receiving a tip from a person who said they helped bury some dead horses on the property a few weeks earlier.

"As we were going through the barn, it led us into the house where there were several more animals and we found deplorable living conditions where four children reside with their parents," explained Sheriff's Detective Christian Parisi.

In the barn alone, authorities seized 14 horses, 3 llamas and a number of cows, pigs, goats and chickens. But it was what they found inside the home that was shocking even to authorities.

Animal control officers seized 6 dogs, numerous cats, a tortoise, birds, rabbits, prairie dogs, and a pig from inside the home that were living with the family.

"There is fecal matter in living area, in the bedrooms, all over the floors," said Detective Parisi.

The house was declared unlivable by the town building inspector, and its condition made work difficult for crews retrieving the animals.

"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," explained Jerry Schuler, Animal Control Officer for the Town of Clarence.

A number of dogs had to be euthanized due to their poor health, and veterinarians on scene feared some of the horses may have to be put down as well.

"If you saw them they would look like living skeletons," added Schuler.

36-year-old Amie Burkley and her husband, 37-year-old Matthew Burkley have been charged with four counts of misdemeanor Endangering the Welfare of a Child and five counts of Animal Cruelty.

They are due in Clarence Town Court Thursday evening.

The children have been placed with a relative.

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