Animals found in squalor in Palos Park barn; Lemont man charged
BY STEVE METSCH firstname.lastname@example.org December 15, 2011 6:36PM
A dog is tied to a post in a run-down, junk-filled building in Palos Park, where a Lemont man was treating several animals inhumanely, police said. | Supplied photo
Updated: January 17, 2012 8:23AM
A 49-year-old Lemont man faces several charges, including cruelty to animals, after police found dogs, rabbits, pigs and goats in inhumane conditions in a barn in the 12400 block of Wolf Road, Palos Park police said.
Officials recovered four dogs, four goats, eight rabbits and five pigs, police said. The area was filled with feces, and there was little if any food or water on hand for the animals.
Jozef Maka, of 13370 Fox Hill Drive, rented the barn, Palos Park Police Chief Joe Miller said Thursday. Maka also is charged with failure to get rabies shots for animals, failure to clean up feces and having unsafe living conditions, police said.
Police were alerted late Sunday by a nearby resident who heard strange noises and noticed a foul smell emitting from the barn, Miller said.
Palos Park police, Cook County Animal Control and the Chicago Ridge-based Animal Welfare League have been working together on the case, Miller said.
Charges may be levied against the barn’s owner, said Miller, who was appalled by the conditions found there.
“It was freezing in there. No heat or electricity. The animals have vision problems from always being in the dark. They had no social skills since they haven’t been interacting with human beings,” Miller said.
The animals, which were taken to the Animal Welfare League, had assorted infections, he said.
“Some of them have to be put down because of the extent of their injuries or the lack of social skills,” Miller said. “One goat had a broken leg. The dogs were found chained up. The pigs were in a pen filled with their own waste. Nobody, evidently, had been cleaning.”
Maka is due in court Feb. 7 at the Bridgeview courthouse.