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Dead chickens, ducks, rabbits found at West End home

PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh police made a disturbing discovery at a West End home, where they found more than 50 dead animals.

Dennis Sofranko, 52, is facing more than 100 counts of felony animal cruelty charges.

According to police, Sofranko starved and tortured the animals for some time.

Related: Woman facing animal cruelty charges

Police arrested him Tuesday as part of a severe animal cruelty case.

RAW VIDEO: Channel 11 confronts Sofranko on the charges he's facing

Officers found 33 dead chickens, 18 dead ducks and five dead rabbits on the porch, in garbage bags and scattered in the yard.

Many of them had starved to death.

Sofranko told authorities that he got the animals from people giving them away for free on Craigslist, according to a criminal complaint.

Related: Man sentenced in 'Puppy Doe' animal cruelty case

A relative told officials he had the animals to eat and that “sometimes he doesn’t get to them,” the complaint said.

A tip from a neighbor led police to the Arnold Street home, but others didn't even realize how bad the situation was.


Police initially thought the home was abandoned, but quickly discovered all of the animal remains.

"I'm shocked," said Bonnie Goodnow, a neighbor. "I've never seen anything but a few rabbits and a guinea pig on his porch."

Investigators aren't sure how long the animals had been there.

Officer Christine Luffey, with Pittsburgh police, said Sofranko said "that he was overwhelmed."

“I regret every bit of this. I’m very regretful. I realize that I did something wrong,” Sofranko told authorities, the complaint said.

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"In all honesty, there's no excuse, no excuse at all to treat an animal this way," Luffey said. "These animals suffer in silence. We have to be their voice. They're defenseless."

Animal control officers urge anyone who takes on more animals than they can handle to get help from shelters.

Sofranko will now be charged with torturing the animals and causing them to die by starving them.

He is being held in the Allegheny County Jail.