Gator among animals seized from hoarder

Posted: July 27, 2011

A "MENAGERIE" of animals, both living and dead, were pulled from a house in South Philadelphia yesterday, including a living alligator and a dead iguana.

It was among the more bizarre cases of animal hoarding with which the Pennsylvania SPCA has ever dealt, officials said. It started with a report of a naked man sitting outside his home on Shunk Street near 9th, and also included a local news reporter being attacked on live TV.

Fox 29's Chris O'Connell reported that he and his cameraman had been attacked by the homeowner's son. The man was arrested at the scene.

"Thanks for all the thoughts on the incident tonight. Photog Dave Edwards and I are ok," O'Connell wrote on Twitter last night. "Never a dull moment in TV news."

The PSPCA confiscated 25 animals from the scene, including four male pit bulls, one dead female pit bull, a cat, six turtles (four dead and two alive), a tarantula, two iguanas and the alligator, and a bunch of domesticated rats, according to spokeswoman Wendy Marano.

Police first responded to the scene for a report of a naked man sitting outside of the home. The PSPCA was called in when the animals were found.

The owner of the home was arrested and charged with animal cruelty, Marano said. He was not immediately identified.

Marano called it a "classic hoarding case" and the house a "menagerie," stuffed from floor to ceiling with debris.

See video of O'Connell's on-air attack at

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