There were 75 animals said by Kern County Animal Control to be maintained in cruel conditions on this Cuddy Creek property in the 5000 block of Frazier Mountain Park Road. David Enoch "Roger" Birrell was arrested on a felony charge Tuesday and pled "not guilty" at his arraignment.
By Patric Hedlund
A home that has been considered a nuisance to neighbors for several years was raided by seven animal control officers and three Kern County Sheriff’s Deputies at about 11 a.m. on Tuesday, June 14. They arrived with a search warrant, authorities said in an interview, to seize 75 cats, dogs, goats, chickens, roosters, a cockatiel, horses, fish and tarantulas. They were reported to have been abused and kept in cruel living conditions.
David Enoch Birrell was arrested on a felony charge. Neighbors said he goes by the name “Roger” and is the son of a woman known as Katherine Silvers. Katherine Silvers (Birrell), 56 and Sarah Sunshine, 31 (aka Sarah Birrell) were arrested at that home by a joint vice task force of Bakersfield Police Department and KCSO for sexual solicitation in 2009. C
Neighbors and professionals familiar with the property had reported animals kept in shocking conditions, but had not received significant response from Kern County Animal Control, they said, at the time. A KCAC official, when asked today about the earlier reports, said that conditions had improved at the Cuddy Creek home for awhile, but had deteriorated again.
According to the Kern County Animal Control press release today, KCAC “had received a report of unsanitary conditions and public nuisance regarding the property. An Animal Control Officer responded to investigate and found animals in various states of duress due to the living conditions…..
“As a result of the investigation… David Enoch Birrel [sic] was arrested on felony 597 (b) charges– crimes against animals. The animals were seized due to immediate concerns regarding living conditions and transported to the Kern County Animal Shelter.”
All animals from the property are being medically evaluated and treated by the Kern County Animal Control Medical Team according to KCAC Senior Animal Control Officer Steve Eirich. He said the animals were all being held as evidence for the court and that the investigation is ongoing.
When asked if there may be additional arrests in this matter, Eirich said, “I would not rule anything out.”
He also said there is an “ongoing investigation” and that he has been an investigator “for 20 years, and I know how to find people….” He added that it took two days to remove the animals from the premises.
KCSO Sgt. Mark Brown said that there is probable cause to arrest Katherine Silvers (Birrell).
This is part of the June 17, 2011 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.
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