Animal cruelty charges leveled against Forest City man

Forest City Police reported that dogs, cats and domestic rats were abandoned without food or water in a Delaware Street home. The owner is now facing multiple animal cruelty and neglect charges.

Rolando Serra, 26, of Forest City was charged last week by Forest City Asst. Chief John Foley Jr. with 12 misdemeanor counts of cruelty to animals; along with multiple counts of animal neglect. A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for Oct. 6 in front of Magisterial District Judge Suzanne Brainard.

According to the affidavit, the Forest City Police Department received numerous complaints that a dog had been left abandoned inside the residence. Asst. Chief Foley spoke with neighboring residents who said they had last seen the Serra at the home on Sept. 11. One neighbor reported a dog had been barking and howling ever since that day.

Police went to the residence on Sept. 16 in an attempt to make contact with the owner. He saw a female dog walking around in garbage and dog feces, according to the affidavit. Asst. Chief Foley also reported that he could not see ay signs of food or water available for the dog. From a different window, he was also able to see a cat inside the home. A notice was placed on the doors for the owner to contact the police department regarding the animals.

The following day, police observed the same conditions and saw another dog was inside the home. Serra contacted Asst. Chief Foley by phone. According to the affidavit, Serra said he would meet police at the residence, and reported that he lives in Scranton and was “storing” the animals at the Delaware Street residence. Serra never arrived to the location, according to police.

On Sept. 18, police obtained a search warrant for the residence and was assisted by Greenfield Twp. Police Ptlm. Michael Flanagan, as well as Humane Officer Marci Zeiler and Griffin Pond Animal Shelter.

According to the affidavit, there was a strong odor of mold and mildew in the residence which was filled with garbage, personal belongings and animal feces. No food or water for the animals was observed anywhere in the home.

In the upstairs, one male cat and nine domestic rats were seized; and downstairs one male pit bull-type dog and one female pit bull-type dog were seized.

While at Griffin Pond Animal Shelter, it was discovered that two of the domestic rats had bones exposed from their tail and one required that the tail be amputated by a veterinarian, according to the affidavit.


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