Flea bites, rotten smells: Neighbors describe foul conditions animals lived in Kingsburg home

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Animal decorations outside of a Kingsburg home might make you think Yvette Martinez, 50, cared for her pets.

But the images from inside the house she rented paint a very different story, one that involves several dead cats and fifteen dogs severely ridden with fleas.

"I was devastated because you would never think that, " Kay Roberts lives just a couple of doors down.

She says she did not know Martinez had her animals living in foul conditions. However, Roberts says the smell wafting from the home was an indication something was wrong.

When Action News asked what it smelled like, Roberts replied, "Death, it smelled rotten."

After spending two days in jail, Martinez raced down the jailhouse steps and into the back of a black SUV. But she couldn't walk away from the 32 felony charges she is facing in court.

Authorities say they discovered several dead cats and fifteen dogs severely ridden with fleas.

The dogs were taken to the Second Chance Animal Shelter in Selma as well as the Kingsburg Veterinarian Clinic for several health issues. (Kingsburg Police Department)



Sean Woods knew it all too well. He shared a photo of flea bites all over his son.

"My wife got bit at least 20 times out here while talking to a friend," he said. "My son has had four or five bites every day."

Woods says he complained about Martinez's home to the city of Kingsburg for years.

This email sent back in 2014 shows his wife asking the city manager to investigate Martinez's home, officials said there is nothing they can do about it, Woods said.

But it was not until two Sundays ago when police went to the home after getting complaints of a foul odor along with continuous dog barking.

Police chief Neil Dadian says this is the worst case of animal cruelty and neglect he has ever seen in his forty years of law enforcement.

Dadian said his officers who responded had to throw their boots away because of how bad it was inside the home.

"This was ankle-deep," he said. "The feces ankle deep in some of the areas, stacked up in corners."

Neighbors said some of their animals have even gotten sick. They wonder if Martinez's home and possible bacteria inside is the source of the problem.

"My cats were getting sick, and they (Martinez's cats) were all coming to my house to eat," said

At Wednesday's city council meeting, neighbors addressed their concerns about the home.

Legally the city has to give the owners until June 25 to clean up the home before they are allowed to do anything. The city attorney says they will work on treating the outside of the property to resolve some of the issues.
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