Animal cruelty case: Kingsburg home to be torn down, neighbors concerned about fleas, smell

News

The Kingsburg home where 15 dogs were seized from filthy conditions is set to be torn down.

Earlier this month the animals were rescued from an abandoned home.

Neighbors say they’ve complained for years but on June 9, the barking and the smell became unbearable.

The dogs are gone but the smell is still there and the fleas from inside the home are making their way to the streets causing health concerns.

“The only way I can describe it, is it was horrendous,” said Chief Neil Dadian of the Kingsburg Police Department.

Difficult to detect from the front yard but inside…

“It probably was one of the worst condition homes I’ve experienced in 40 years of law enforcement,” Chief Dadian said. “Feces, ankle deep, throughout the home and in every room. Clutter and trash, everywhere.”

The Chief says the 15 dogs were malnourished and infested with fleas and ticks. Dead kittens were also found.

The woman who lived in the home, 50-year-old, Yvette Martinez, turned herself in on Monday. She’s in jail on 16 felony counts each of two animal cruelty charges.

Neighbor, Kay Roberts helped Martinez clean inside the home, several years ago.

“I never figured this. This was really bad,” Roberts said.

But neighbors say the barking and the smell has plagued the neighborhood for 10 years.

“Mostly the smell of feces and on occasion, death,” said another neighbor.

“When it gets really hot, it’s really sickening,” Roberts added.

An email from 2014, from a neighbor to Social Services read in part:

“The smell coming from the house, is so vile it makes one almost nauseous.”

Another email from that year to the city says…

“All the dogs are in such terrible condition, mange, fleas, you name it.”

“We’re all scared to death that people are going to start getting really sick here,” said a neighbor.

“The fleas are going everywhere. We’re all bit up on our legs,” Roberts said.

The dogs were taken to a Selma animal shelter.

The city says the home will be torn down at a date not yet determined. Neighbors hope it’s sooner rather than later.

“The city is moving as fast as we possibly can,” Chief Dadian said.

The woman’s bail is set at $200,000.

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