LODI — Police arrested two people after more than a dozen dogs and cats were found living in unsafe conditions at a Lodi home.
The windows to the home on South Central Avenue were boarded up Wednesday, one day after Lodi Code Enforcement officials declared the house was uninhabitable.
Police arrested two people, 43-year-old Steven Bellamy and 38-year-old Natasha Terry, on suspicion of outstanding warrants and charges related to animal cruelty.
“It’s my mom’s residence and my brother and the people inside of there were taking full advantage of her and squatted and pretty much have destroyed the house,” said Cindy, who did not want to disclose her last name.
Cindy said her mother owns the home. It has been in her family for decades.
Lodi police confirm Code Enforcement officers received numerous complaints spanning years about debris, trash and appliances piling up outside the home.
“Code enforcement officers went out and tried to remedy the situation, talk to the homeowners and tried to get them to clean the property up,” said Lodi Police Detective Michael Hitchcock.
People living nearby said they also saw several people coming in and out of the home at all hours of the day and night and camping out in tents.
“They’re warned them plenty of times, I’ve warned them plenty of times,” Cindy told FOX40.
Kelli Styles with Lodi Animal Services said altogether 17 dogs and cats, some pregnant, were discovered living in “hoarding” conditions.
“When we did get out there, there was urine and feces inside the house,” Styles explained.
While Cindy is now working to fix the damage left behind, officials said the rescued animals are expected to be OK.
“With more care, they will continue to get better and get healthier,” Styles said.
Bellamy and Terry are being held in the Lodi City Jail.
The rescued animals will be put up for adoption later this month.