House full of pets filthy, officials say

©Press/Journal photo by Debra Schell - This yellow trailer on Willow Street was declared uninhabitable by Highspire police, who said it was filled with urine and feces from 14 cats, two dogs, and nine birds. The occupant, Teresa Smeal, was charged with disorderly conduct for arguing with police over the removal of the animals.

By Debra Schell
Press And Journal Staff

Teresa Smeal lived in a yellow trailer on Willow Street in Highspire with 14 cats, two dogs, and nine birds, but her menagerie was too big, authorities said.
Strong odors of animal urine and feces welcomed Highspire Fire Department officials when they deactivated a loud smoke detector that had sounded around 11 a.m. on April 11, police said.
Fire officials called police and Terence Watts, the borough’s code enforcement officer, who determined that the home was uninhabitable for humans or animals.
After a brief walk-through of the home it appeared that the animals had been neglected, police said.
The Humane Society removed the animals from the home, Watts said.
Smeal, 46, was charged with disorderly conduct after arguing with police and Humane Society officials and kicking and throwing things. Police said she became upset when told the animals had been removed.
Jeffery Gebhard, 47, who shared the home with Smeal, said the two will have to find somewhere else to live until the home is cleaned up and inspected by the borough.
The incident remains under investigation, Watts said.
During the removal of the animals, a police officer was scratched and bitten by one of the cats, police said.
The officer was treated by EMS. The injuries were minor, officials said.

Debra Schell: 717-944-4628, or

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