PENNSYLVANIA -- An Emmaus man who kept six dead snakes and dozens of live exotic birds in a home previously condemned by the borough has pleaded guilty to animal cruelty charges stemming from a September 2014 raid by the Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals..
Jason D. Wieder, 35, of the unit block of South Cherry Street, will be required to pay more than $10,000 in fines and costs after pleading guilty Monday at District Court in Emmaus to a dozen counts of animal cruelty.
As part of the plea, Wieder was ordered to pay $9,157 to the PSPCA for the care of dozens of birds and animals seized from the property, in addition to a $50 fine for each of the animal cruelty offenses.
"The PSPCA is pleased that Mr. Wieder has accepted responsibility for his actions and that these animals have found justice," Pennsylvania SPCA CEO Jerry Buckley said in a press release.
"While we mainly deal with dogs and cats in cruelty cases, it's not unusual for us to be involved with investigating and prosecuting birds and other animals."
A PSPCA officer served a warrant at the property in September, eventually seizing 37 cockatiels, 10 cockatiel eggs, six dead snakes, three parrots, three cockatoos and three dogs, according to court records.
The dead snakes — boa constrictors and pythons — were kept in plastic containers.
The SPCA said the birds that were seized have received medical treatment and have "fully recovered." The agency said that the birds will be taken by a rescue group and eventually placed in permanent homes.
Wieder's three Huskies will be returned to him, but the SPCA has the right to inspect the animals for the next three years to ensure they are being treated humanely. They also will be spayed or neutered.
SPCA officials visited the property after the borough's code enforcement officer inspected it for code violations.
Borough Manager Shane Pepe said Emmaus has filed a civil court action against Wieder over the property. The borough maintains that the building should be demolished or repaired.
"We have condemned the home numerous times for lack of utilities and are concerned about the physical structure of the home," Pepe said last year.
The property is in an alley near Seven Generations Charter School.
(Allentown Morning Call - Jan 27, 2015)