Olney woman with 90 animals disputes need for PSPCA 'rescue"

Posted: July 15, 2010

Olga Federov thinks the Lord knew it was time.

She has grown frail since major abdominal surgery about a year ago and admits that it has become harder to care for the dozens of animals she opened her house and heart to - including dogs that she rescued from shelter euthanasia.

Federov, 59, couldn't even turn her back on dead animals that she found on the street. She placed them in a freezer until the next trash day.

Among the animals found in the freezer in a raid by agents of the Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals on Tuesday at Federov's home, on Mascher Street near Nedro Avenue, in Olney, was a fox she'd found hit by a car on Roosevelt Boulevard.

The PSPCA said that it rescued 90 animals, including cats, dogs, chinchillas and pigeons from her property.

As if that weren't enough, humane officers were sent on another hoarding raid last night and seized 60 chihuahuas from a home on the 700 block of Earp Street in South Philadelphia, according to PSPCA spokeswoman Liz Williamson.

The home was covered in dog feces and the homeowner faces a host of citations and possible charges. Humane officers also found three cats and two dead dogs in the woman's home.

George Bengal, director of law enforcement for the PSPCA, said 53 cats, eight dogs, 21 chinchillas and eight birds were seized for medical evaluation from Federov's home.

Many appeared in need of medical attention, he said.

"That's completely untrue," said Federov, who was laid off from her job in computer software and said she is feeding the animals and providing them with medicine out of her unemployment check and savings.

Among them were the pets of people who had lost their jobs, and then their homes to foreclosure, Federov said.

Once word got out, her house became a dumping ground. Federov even found a bag of kittens hanging on her fence.

She disputed the PSPCA's figures on the number of animals seized from her home, andWilliamson confirmed that Federov had helped foster kittens for the PSPCA.

Federov said she had taken dogs from the former PACCA to save them from being put down.

"I'm just so hurt," she said. "I don't want them to vilify me. They're looking at me like a lunatic, collecting dead animals in a freezer."

She did confirm that an electrician had turned off her electricity, causing a stench of decay from the freezer in the heat.

Federov said that the Department of Licenses and Inspections has ordered repairs to her home before it can be reoccupied. Federov admits that she hasn't bounced back since her surgery.

"Everything has been heading toward a situation where I couldn't do this anymore," she said. "But I certainly didn't want it to end like this. "

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