Turtle Creek man accused of starving, neglecting animals

TURTLE CREEK, Pa. (KDKA) – A Turtle Creek man is facing pages of criminal charges for allegedly starving and neglecting more than a dozen animals.

Investigators with animal friends tell KDKA-TV’s Meghan Schiller they found nearly 20 suffering animals, trapped and helpless inside a home along Maple Street.

“There were a total of 19 animals in the house, and when our officers arrived, 10 of them had already died,” said Cody Hoellerman with Animal Friends.

A woman called Animal Friends and said Isaac Deitt just got arrested on other charges, and she is worried about the animals inside his place.

Hoellerman said that concerned neighbor’s greatest fears were realized when Animal Friends’ humane officers went inside.

“There were four cats and two dogs that were brought back to Animal Friends. But among the animals that died, there were two tarantulas, four turtles, two lizards, a chinchilla and a second snake that died at home.”

Hoellerman said Deitt faces 82 charges including only misdemeanors and not felonies. Investigators couldn’t file more serious charges without necropsies.

“Unfortunately, the animals in the house that were died, we believe they were probably died for a while, because the condition of their bodies was so bad that we weren’t actually able to send them away for necropsies,” Hoellermans said.

Hoellerman says the trickiest find inside was a highly venomous, highly aggressive snake native to Southeast Asia.

“The monocled cobra was probably the most interesting part of this case, because we did reach out to handlers at the Pittsburgh Zoo. They helped to make sure that everybody, animals and people, were safe, that the enclosure that we were using was secure . And ultimately that cobra was transported up to the Boston Zoo where it can live happy and healthy now.”

All of the animals found still alive in the house are now adopted.

Hoellerman says this case highlights the importance of neighbors keeping an eye out and staying vigilant in your community, because that concerned neighbors saved some of those animals from starvation.

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