Children, animals removed from filthy home

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It's open house for great real estate steals. See how much home can you buy for the money, especially with these well-priced foreclosures in cities across the U.S.

Top Picks: Foreclosures for Under $150,000

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TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - Authorities took two young children into protective custody and seized nearly 40 animals from a Tucson home that was found in "urine-soaked, feces-laden" living conditions, police said.

"The minute I stepped out of the truck, there was an overwhelming smell," said Elaine Klein, field investigator for the Pima Animal Care Center. "I went into a room with two children, and there were 15 dogs in there with them."

Child Protective Services took the children into their custody Friday.

The care center seized 29 dogs, including Yorkshire terriers, Chihuahuas and cocker spaniels, along with seven birds and three cats, said Kim Janes, manager of the center.

She said the home was operating as a typical backyard breeder.

The care center first learned about the home from a woman who had bought a Yorkshire terrier there. The dog died shortly after of parvo, a highly contagious gastrointestinal ailment that causes lethargy, loss of appetite, fever, vomiting and severe diarrhea.

The care center got another report about the home from the Humane Society of Southern Arizona who had talked to a woman who took her daughter to buy a dog there but left without one after seeing the conditions, Klein said.

Klein said when she went to check out the home on Thursday, a lot of dogs had eye infections and hair loss, and that it appeared they had not been socialized because they had bad temperaments. Half of them didn't have water, and the other half were not vaccinated, she said.

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Sean Padovan, a retired Sacramento police sergeant who lives three doors away from the three-bedroom, 1 1/2-bath house, grew concerned when the grass grew nearly a foot high.

"I finally went down there and said, 'Would you mind if I mowed your lawn for you?' She said, 'I've been awful busy. Sure.' "

Richardson's Craftsman-style house has also fallen into disrepair. The beige paint is peeling, a garage window is broken, and the grass has turned brown.

This week, her challenger Peter Mathews staged a news conference near the house to highlight what he termed Richardson's "pattern of fiscal irresponsibility."

Richardson bought a four-bedroom, two-bath house in Long Beach for $135,000 so she could run for an open seat on the Long Beach City Council in 2000. In 2006, she was elected to the Assembly and then to Congress the next year in the special election to replace the late Juanita Millender-McDonald to represent the 37th Congressional District, which includes Long Beach, Carson and Compton.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press. Active hyperlinks have been inserted by AOL.

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