Lehigh Valley

Court papers shed light on alleged animal abuse case

SCHNECKSVILLE, Pa. - We are learning more about what's being called an animal cruelty case in Lehigh County.

Dozens of animals, both dead and alive, were found Friday on a farm in the 4300 block of Copeechan Road in Schnecksville.

The property's owner said he evicted Todd Hedrick earlier this year and found the abused animals when he went to change the locks.

This isn't the first time Hedrick has caught the eye of animal abuse officers. An animal cruelty officer returned to the scene Monday. The list she left details what was found on the property.

The PSPCA removed 32 chickens, four quails, three cats and a rabbit after finding there was no access to food and water. Thirty dead birds were also found and removed from the barn.

"I'm shocked because I had never seen anybody out and never heard of the animals," said neighbor Tim Hurd.

Animal cruelty officers said Hedrick lived at the farm and was responsible for the cruel conditions.

The property's owner said the abuse was discovered after Hedrick had been evicted from the home.

It's not a new story. Last year, Hedrick was found guilty of animal cruelty in a similar case on a property he was renting in Lowhill Township.

A humane society officer said it was only after he was evicted there that the abuse was discovered.

Ironically, it was on the same property that Hedrick was a victim of animal abuse himself, after a neighbor shot and killed three of his pigs.

His now-former Schnecksville neighbor, Mary Bacher, said he billed the place as an organic farm, which is still the case online.

Bacher said she had no idea of what was really happening just a field away.

"I don't think I even heard a chicken. You'd think by owning a farm you'd be out more," Bacher said.

Charges are expected to be filed in the coming weeks. They are summary offenses, but his past conviction could play a role in the new case.

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