YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — When a city police officer first entered the home on the 800 block of Parkview Avenue early Tuesday evening, he was met by dogs.
That in itself is not unusual. What was unusual was the number of dogs who met him. There were at least 10, and they seemed to come from every angle as the officer edged his way inside past the dogs.
Officers were called there after a family member wanted to report it for dangerous conditions. Bodycam footage captured the inside of the home, which was covered in trash and other debris. Large flies would also buzz toward the camera regularly.
After police left Tuesday, housing code enforcement officers and humane agents from Animal Charity were there Wednesday. They removed the dogs, two husky mixes and several different varieties of fish.
The house was also “red tagged,” or declared uninhabitable until the trash, dog feces, urine and other debris were cleaned up and removed.
Police were called about 6:45 p.m. Tuesday, and officers met the family member at The Flats in Mill Creek Park. He told officers the house was not safe for anyone who lived there.
The family member said a previous home they lived in burned down in April. Then, they moved to the home on Parkview. They showed the city police officer pictures of the house on a phone, and the officer was instantly taken back.
In their encounter with police, the family member never said what prompted them to call 911 or why they had police meet them in Mill Creek Park.
When police arrived at the home later, the officer was asked if he wanted any plastic boots to cover his shoes. He said no.
“I’m just going where I can see,” he said.
The front door was opened and dogs came from everywhere. Their barks are loud. The officer is told they do not bite, but he tells the family member the dogs need to be locked up before he will go back inside.
In the meantime, a supervisor is called and arrives, and the people who live there show up, but the sound on the body camera is muted when they arrive. After several minutes, the dogs have been secured and the officer goes inside.
The view from the officer’s camera shows there are pieces of paper strewn everywhere and in several rooms, and the floor is covered with trash bags and clothes.
There are pieces of plaster peeled away from the walls. There are no beds seen in the video, but there is a couch in the living room where a family member said children sleep.
After they walk out of the house, the officer goes across the street to return a flashlight to a colleague.
“Oh. My. God.” He says slowly to her.
Charges have not been filed, yet. Of the dogs, humane agents said Wednesday several of the older ones had some health issues while three puppies appeared to be in good shape.
Records from the Mahoning County Auditor’s Office show the home has been owned by four separate realty companies since 2002, with the current owner being Arni Real Estate, who took over the property July 1, 2022.
The home was built in 1921 and has six rooms and one bathroom, according to auditor’s records. Despite having six rooms, there was barely any furniture inside.
A local listing for Arni Real Estate could not be found. An internet search turned up a number in Des Plaines, Illinois.