Neglected pets found in home of parents charged in son’s death

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Bruce and Debra Leonard (New Hartford Police Department)

Bruce and Debra Leonard (New Hartford Police Department)

NEW YORK — An animal control officer and animal rights advocate say the home of a couple charged with beating their sons — one fatally — was filled with neglected, caged dogs and the feces and urine of even more pets.

Animal control officer Gordon Chafee told The Associated Press on Sunday that two members of the Word of Life Christian Church now under arrest left behind a filthy, garbage-strewn house in Clayville, New York.

Animal advocate Kimberly Strong says she alerted authorities who entered the home and found four dogs, three birds and several cats that had been seemingly neglected over time.

The story first appeared in the Syracuse Post-Standard.

Church members Bruce and Deborah Leonard are charged with manslaughter in the death of their 19-year-old son and assaulting their 17-year-old son.