CENTRE COUNTY, Pa. (CBS) – The Pennsylvania SPCA removed 118 animals from a property in Aaronsburg on Tuesday after concerns for their welfare. The PSPCA’s Humane Law Enforcement officers executed a search warrant on Dec. 18 at a property belonging to Jahjah Melhem.
Officers removed 118 animals, including 30 chickens, 22 sheep, 17 goats, 12 ducks, 11 geese, seven mini-horses, four mini-donkeys, three potbellied pigs, four turkeys, four peacocks, an alpaca and more.
In August, a judge ruled Melhem to limit his animals to under 100.
This comes nearly a year after the PSPCA’s Humane Law Enforcement Department executed a search warrant at the Heaven on Earth Animal Sanctuary in Northampton County.
Officers seized 30 animals from the property, including two blind Alaskan malamute dogs covered in burrs from head to toe, three goats unable to stand due to foot rot and many underweight animals.
Officials continued to return to that property throughout 2018 to seize additional animals.
Melhem moved the animals to the Aaronsburg property after being evicted from the Northampton County property.
The PSPCA has filed 47 criminal charges, including two felony charges against Melhem.
“After visiting the many properties of Melhem over the past year, the one constant has been the concerns for the welfare of the animals in his care,” said Nicole Wilson, the PSPCA’s director of Humane Law Enforcement. “When we first executed a search warrant in Northampton in December of 2017, we knew that the battle to save these animals would be a long one. A year later, it is still ongoing, but until every last animal is safe, our Humane Law Enforcement efforts will not cease.”
Melhem was arraigned Tuesday and released on $5,000 bail.