Police: 135 animals rescued from hoarding situation in Bel Aire

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As masked crews carried out animals in cages, people like Victor Stevenson walked by and could hardly believe what he saw.

“It’s kind of shocking, big surprise for sure,” he said.

Just before 11 a.m. Monday, police got a call about a possible hoarding situation in the 3900 block of North Edgemoor in Bel Aire. When they got inside they found too many animals to count – simply describing that there were dozens of animals. And police said the smell was just as bad.

“Because the animals were loose, the home is not habitable,” said Police Chief Darrell Atteberry. “There were many animals in cages. Many were not, were running loose. So they were going to the bathroom wherever they felt.”

Police said dozens of animals were everywhere, some even in or behind holes they found in the walls. And they weren’t just dogs or cats.

“Guinea pigs, rats, turtles, doves, chicken,” he said. “So, a lot of animals.”

Police said Tuesday that 135 animals, from dogs and cats to a turtle dove, were rescued. See the breakdown in the numbers below.

Many of them were sick and some even died but others were in relatively good condition. Police are still investigating before recommending charges against the homeowner, who is staying with a friend since the house was not habitable.

“I can tell you this is not legal. But we have to see what the ordinance is, state statute is,” Atteberry said. “And we may either go local or through the state court.”

Those surviving animals were taken to area shelters for check-ups. If they’re okay they could be taken to animal care organizations or rescue groups across the state.

The count on animals rescued during the animal hoarding investigation:

  • 11 Dogs
  • 81 Cats 
  • 2 Chickens
  • 2 Guinea Pigs
  • 7 Gerbils
  • 1 Turtle Dove
  • 14 Norwegian Rats
  • 1 Red Eared Slider
  • 15 Ornate Box Turtles
  • 1 Flag Crown tail Beta Fish

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