Here's what to do if you live next to an animal hoarder:

* Calling 3-1-1 is the best first step to solving most problems in the city. From there, an operator can direct you to the correct agency to start the process.

"A lot of times one problem needs to be solved by four different agencies," said Maura Kennedy, who speaks for the Department of Licenses and Inspections as deputy press secretary for the mayor's office.

* Call the tip line for the Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals at 866-601-7722. The PSPCA can get a warrant to enter a house without permission from the owner only after getting an eyewitness account of animal abuse.

* Follow through. 3-1-1 will give you a reference number, and you can check back to see the progress of your complaint. Contacting your elected city officials can also help.

- Michelle Skowronek