Six arrested, people and pets rescued from Norwich home

Feb. 2—Two children, two disabled adults and several animals were rescued from a home in Norwich, which resulted in the arrest of six adults, Norwich Police Chief Reuben Roach announced Friday.

According to a media release, the Norwich Police Department responded to 60 Mitchell St. to assist the Chenango County Sheriff's Office with a separate investigation Thursday, Feb. 1. Officers noticed unlivable conditions and numerous emaciated and undernourished dogs.

"This was a house full of animal and human feces, infestations of bugs and deplorable living conditions," Roach said in the release. "I cannot fathom how people can live like this or treat animals this way."

Living in the home were six adults, two children, two disabled adults, several dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs and a hamster, the release said. The two disabled adults were transported to UHS Chenango Memorial Hospital with Adult Protective Services. The department contacted Chenango SPCA, Delaware Valley Humane Society and Susquehanna SPCA for help. The animals were surrendered by their respective owners. One dog was taken to the Pet Street Station Animal Hospital for treatment, and its condition is listed as serious.

Thursday, the Chenango SPCA took in 10 dogs, including six puppies; and eight cats, including three kittens, while the rabbits and guinea pigs were taken to the veterinary office for shelter, Chenango SPCA Executive Director Patrick McLaughlin said in an email. An additional eight dogs, one guinea pig and one hamster were recovered from the home and brought to the Chenango SPCA on Friday.

In addition to the abovementioned agencies, the Norwich City Fire Department, codes department and Chenango County Department of Social Services assisted at the scene, the release said. The codes department condemned the house.

Delaware Valley Humane Society Director Erin Insinga said since her shelter has a "pretty large following" of people who like small animals, she posted an appeal on the center's Facebook page Thursday afternoon looking for people to take the rabbits and guinea pigs, and the "random, stray hamster." All of the small animals found permanent homes and the new owners were able to pick them up at the Pet Street Station Veterinary Office Friday.

Insinga picked up two puppies, four adult dogs and five cats at the SPCA Friday to take to the shelter to try to find new homes for them. The puppies are a boxer mix, while one adult dog, Bonnie, is a purebred English Labrador and another adult dog is a silver Labrador and there are two Chihuahua mixes. "It's a strange mix of dogs," she said. "They're all really nice." Insinga said they are looking for foster homes for the two 9-week-old puppies.

McLaughlin said the Susquehanna SPCA took five dogs.

The following people were arrested in connection with the search:

* Barbara A. Herbert, 48, Norwich, was charged with two counts of endangering the welfare of an incompetent person, class E felonies; one count of endangering the welfare of a child, a class A misdemeanor; sixth-degree conspiracy, a class B misdemeanor; and seven counts of animal cruelty, class A misdemeanors.

* Stacy L. Cox, 51, Norwich, was charged with one count of endangering the welfare of a child, one count of sixth-degree conspiracy and three counts of animal cruelty.

* Americus B. Herbert, 20, Norwich, was charged with one count of endangering the welfare of a child, one count of sixth-degree conspiracy, and eight counts of animal cruelty.

* Norman J. Herbert, 50, Norwich, was charged with two counts of endangering the welfare of an incompetent person, one count of endangering the welfare of a child, one count of sixth-degree conspiracy, and five counts of animal cruelty.

* Kendra A. Cummings, 20, Norwich, was charged with one count of endangering the welfare of a child.

* Johnathan A. Fuller, 22, Norwich, was charged with one count of endangering the welfare of a child, sixth-degree conspiracy and two counts of animal cruelty.

All six were issued appearance tickets and are scheduled to appear at Norwich City Court at a later date.

Vicky Klukkert, staff writer, can be reached at vklukkert@thedailystar.com or 607-441-7221.