Two Teenage Girls, 42 Animals and a "Bearded Dragon" Removed from Riverside Home. City Animal Shelter under Quarantine.
The East Providence Police and local animal shelter are seeking donations after the recent raid of a home in Riverside, RI. On Friday, January 12th, the East Providence Police and East Providence Animal Control responded to 26 Floyd Avenue, resulting in 46 animals being removed. "All of the dogs, cats and a bearded dragon were transported to the East Providence Animal Control Center, located at 62 Commercial Way. The animals received prompt veterinary care. Unfortunately, two of the dogs have been diagnosed with canine parvovirus, a highly contagious viral illness", said a police department statement.
Due to the parvovirus, the animal control center is currently under quarantine. They are unable to accept any animals or adopt out any animals that were already in the facility. "Arrangements have been made with neighboring facilities to meet the future animal control needs of the city. Unfortunately, as a result of the parvovirus, all of the current animal control center supplies must be discarded," East Providence police stated. "We are looking for donations of blankets, towels, cleaning supplies and hot water bottles. Staff members will be available to accept these donations in the animal control center parking lot."
The house was home to more than 40 dogs and cats. Conditions inside the home were called "more than deplorable," by long time Building Inspector, Al Quattrucci. "It's the worst I've ever seen." Quattrucci immediately condemned the house, which was also home to two children and two adults. Animal Control Officer William Muggle said that the authorities are investigating a possible illegal breeding and illegal operation in the home. Muggle said the police continue to investigate.
In addition to the problem with the amount of animals in this home, the Rhode Island Department for Children and Families (DCYF) has removed two minors living there. The homeowner, Rachel Duarte, was arrested and charged with assaulting a police officer and building inspector. Duarte was also charged with resisting arrest. After a District Court arraignment, she was released pending trial. Duarte had been previously approved as a foster parent from 2014 to 2015. Duarte and her home had passed prior inspections by the DCYF.
Duarte told officials that she had been approved to have foster children and the two teenagers were found living in the homes' dank basement which had mattresses on the floor and no safe exits or smoke detectors. The two teenagers were found on the mattresses. However the DCYF stated that both girls were not foster children. Ironically the DCYF was in the home on the day before the incident. A worker was investigating the placement of one of the girls who was evidently staying with Duarte in a private family arrangement. A DCYF spokesperson said that a caseworker report was being readied and would not have recommended foster parent approval. An anonymous complaint brought officials to the Floyd Avenue home the next day. The complaint was made after a van was seen dropping off a number of puppies at the home.
Inspector Quattrucci told Channel 12 News that Duarte attacked him and a police officer after she was told that her house was being condemned. Quattrucci told Channel 12 News that when the woman assaulted him and an officer, "an officer picked her up and threw her like a missile in the snow bank."
The house was boarded up by city officials. City councilman Brian Faria was on the scene during the incident and took pictures from inside the home which were supplied to news media. Faria told area media that what he saw was "deplorable." Faria further stated that upon entering the home he found the conditions to be obvious and it was "very disconcerting that a DCYF official didn't notice" this in a visit one day before the incident.