DHR steps in after 13 dogs found in house

Published 5:35 pm Monday, April 30, 2012

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

The Alabama Department of Human Resources placed three children into protective custody and a Helena-based animal rescue agency is now caring for 13 dogs after officers discovered what Helena Police detective Chris Rollan called the “worst house” he has ever seen.

Rollan said a concerned resident called police in mid-February to report a deceased dog lying in 56-year-old Bonnie Liberman’s yard on Oak View Lane off Shelby County 52. Rollan said police told Liberman to properly dispose of the dog, but found the dog’s body was still there a week later.

Police then traveled to the house and allegedly discovered something Rollan said he will never forget.

“It’s the worst house I’ve ever seen in my career, in my life,” Rollan said. “Every square foot of (the inside of) that house was covered in feces and urine.”

Rollan said officers discovered 13 poodles – some of them malnourished – inside the house with Liberman and her three foster children. DHR then placed the three children into protective custody, Rollan said.

Liberman was charged with misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty, failure to properly dispose of a deceased animal and doing business without a license. Rollan said Liberman allegedly was selling the dogs.

“She voluntarily gave her dogs up to Two by Two Animal Rescue,” Rollan said.

Two by Two, which is based in Helena, currently is working with Hope Animal Clinic in Bessemer to nurse the dogs – some of which are puppies weighing less than a pound – back to health before working to find them new homes.