MERCER, Pa. (WKBN) – A man will spend at least three months in jail after 31 animals were found dead at a property he was renting in Mercer earlier this year.

Mercer County County Court of Common Pleas Judge Daniel Wallace sentenced Philip Schaefer to three months to two years in jail, with credit for one day already served.

Schaefer, 54, will also serve five years on probation after his release. Schaefer faced several charges of neglect of an animal, cruelty to animals and aggravated cruelty to animals.

According to a criminal complaint, the deceased animals had been left to freeze or starve with very few containers of food or hay in the barn. Other animals on the property were left without adequate shelter.

The investigation began March 10 after a Humane Society investigator was called about dead animals at a property in the 600 block of Millburn Rd.

A search warrant was served the next day, and the investigator found two small cages that appeared to contain the bones of guinea pigs in the home. Two empty reptile cages were also found inside.

Outside was a pen with 17 dead ducks. Two containers of food were outside the pen, according to the complaint.

A goat was found tied to a pole with no food or water, the complaint read. Investigators say there were also two cages containing dead ducks with no food or water.

The complaint states that another cage contained four dead chickens, another had two dead guinea fowl with no food or water, and a dead horse was found buried under a pile of manure. A dead dog was reportedly found on a short chain with no food or water.

There were four emaciated goats, along with one dead goat and four dead yearlings, the report stated. Two emaciated dogs were also discovered, investigators reported.

Running around the property were 19 chickens.

Investigators say the property was being rented to Schaefer, who was not there at the time of the search.

Below are photos of the animals that were found alive during the search:

  • Animal seizure in Mercer (2)
  • Animal seizure in Mercer (1)