Lehigh Valley

Two charged in relation to animal cruelty raid in Macungie

MACUNGIE, Pa. - Two people have been charged with animal cruelty and neglect.

Melanie Rehrig and Jason Wieder, of 968 Hillcrest Drive South, Macungie are charged with five counts of aggravated cruelty to animals, a felony of the third degree; six counts of cruelty to animals, a misdemeanor of the second degree; six counts of neglect of animals, a misdemeanor of the third degree; and 86 counts of neglect of animals, a summary offense.

The misdemeanor charge of neglect of animals reflects the severity of neglect, which caused bodily injury to six of the animals at the Hillcrest Drive address.

On Oct. 15, 2018, Barbara Morgan, Humane Police Officer for the Lehigh County Humane Society, was called to 968 Hillcrest Drive South. There she met Sgt. Travis Kocher and Cpl. Michael Mullen of the Macungie Police Department and Ms. Rehrig, who allowed entrance into the residence.

The police had been called to investigate a barking dog complaint, but upon seeing the conditions of the residence and number of animals living there, called the Lehigh County Humane Society for assistance.

Because of the conditions found there, the house was deemed too hazardous to enter
without breathing equipment. Upon examination of the house and property, Morgan reported
finding animals living in filth and debris and suffering from neglect.

The animals found included birds, snakes, rabbits, frogs, pigs, monitor lizards, and dogs. Five animals were found dead at the site. 81 were removed from the property because of the unsanitary conditions and concern that the animals were in imminent risk of injury. The animals were taken to the Humane
Society for evaluation and care.

Based on the condition of the animals and the property found at 968 Hillcrest Drive South, it is alleged that Melanie Rehrig and Jason Wieder failed to provide care for the animals living at their residence which resulted in ill treatment and death.

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