Twenty-four dogs and six cats were removed from deplorable conditions at a Coatesville area home this afternoon, officials said.

Acting on a tip, animal protective services officers went to a residence in the 400 block of South Bonsall Road, where they found the animals, many of which showed signs of flea infestation, skin disease, and malnutrition, said Rich Britton, a spokesman for the Chester County SPCA.

Britton said the female owner, whose name will not be released until charges are filed, did not want the animals removed from the home. He said the officers had no choice after viewing the room in which the animals were caged, which reeked of excrement.

"There were definitely in unfit conditions," he said, adding that the animals will all be examined by a veterinarian.

Britton said charges of animal cruelty are expected to be filed tomorrow. They carry a penalty of a $750 fine per count and up to six months in jail, he said.

The dogs, all small breeds, were of various ages and included dachshunds, chihuahuas, and shih tzus.

Britton said the officers did not find evidence that the animals were being sold.

"At this point, it appears to be a case of hoarding," he said.

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