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Neighbors want something done with condemned home in Reading

By Ryan Hughes, Reporter, RHughes@wfmz.com
Published On: Mar 25 2014 04:31:51 PM CDT
Updated On: Mar 25 2014 05:05:15 PM CDT

Code violations are piled high at an animal hoarder's home in Reading, and now the owner is being told to pay up.

READING, Pa. -

Code violations are piled high at an animal hoarder's home in Reading, and now the owner is being told to pay up.

A judge ordered Mary Lou Petrucci to pay thousands of dollars in fines for countless violations at her property in the 1500 block of Mineral Spring Road.

"It's a terrible eyesore. The windows are broken and it looks terrible," said Jaime Schweitzer, who lives a few doors down from Petrucci.

According to Schweitzer, the house has been a thorn in their side for the past decade. The front door is filled with code violations, and the stench from inside is revolting.

"Well, they either are going to have to fix it or level it," said Schweitzer.

Petrucci did not answer the door to her home Tuesay. She was fined nearly $20,000 Monday for countless code violations like broken windows, peeled paint and failing to remove an abandoned truck.

"They ought to fix it up. They ought to do something. You can't just let it rot, what's going to happen is it's going to wind up a crack house," said Jacqueline Schweitzer.

Neighbors have reached their breaking point with Petrucci, who is no stranger to the law. She pleaded no contest to 10 counts of cruelty to animals in September and was sentenced to eight years probation.

The Animal Rescue League removed 56 animals living in deplorable conditions in 2012. Feces and trash were reportedly found throughout the home.

Neighbors call the house a hazard, and they're demanding it be fixed once and for all.

"I mean the more it stays there, the more it's going to deteriorate and the worse it's going to look and the more hazard it's going to be," said Schweitzer.

Petrucci could face jail time if she does not come up with the money and pay the fines.

Her attorney could not be reached for comment.