Gator among 25 animals found dead, alive in Philadelphia home

Reuters News
Posted: Jul 27, 2011 4:38 PM
Gator among 25 animals found dead, alive in Philadelphia home

By Dave Warner

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - Police responding to a report of a naked man outdoors in South Philadelphia made a gruesome discovery - a house full of dozens of hoarded animals from an alligator to a tarantula, some alive but most dead.

Authorities who entered the "filthy, horrible" row house found 25 animals including an iguana, chickens, domesticated rats, turtles, dogs and a cat, a spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania SPCA said on Wednesday.

"There was animal waste all over the property," SPCA spokeswoman Wendy Marano said, noting neighbors had been complaining about the stench.

The occupant of the house, whose name was not released, was hospitalized to determine his mental condition, police said.

Authorities were initially called to the home on Tuesday on a report that the man was naked and seated on the front steps.

Animal agents soon arrived and, upon entering the home, heard a hissing noise that sounded like a cat. It turned out to be a 4-foot alligator in a tank, which later died.

Fourteen dead animals and 11 live ones, including the alligator, were removed from the home, authorities said.

Police said the man's son, John Pilotti Jr., 35, also of South Philadelphia, was charged with simple assault and harassment of a reporter for Fox 29 in Philadelphia who was at the scene reporting on the incident.

People who hoard animals are actually animal lovers, Marano said. "In general, they all tend to love animals, they just love them and it gets out of hand."

(Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Cynthia Johnston)