Aug. 5 (UPI) — Authorities in California seized between 1,000 and 3,000 animals from a warehouse after investigating reports of a rotten smell.
Police first began investigating the property at a a Montclair industrial park on Thursday and found fish, birds and reptiles, which were mostly dead, but had to wait until Friday to gather the necessary resources to clear the warehouse.
“It was just piled with cages and birds. There were 15 to 20 cages piled up, water and urine on the floor, animals on the floor. We had to walk sideways between industrial water tanks filled with fish,” Montclair police Sgt. John Minook told the Los Angeles Times.
Officers arrived at the building on Thursday to investigate 52-year-old Gregory Bowman, who had been arrested for an unrelated crime and reportedly lived at the location.
The Humane Society was asked to take possession of Bowman’s two dogs and reported evidence of other animals, including a strong smell of decay.
Authorities entered the building and found there was little ventilation and no sign of food or water for the birds.
“The snakes were just left inside their boxes and they were dead,” James Edward of the Humane Society told the San Bernardino Sun. “I can’t imagine what it’s going to take to make this [presentable] again.”
It was unclear whether the owner of the warehouse was selling the animals and there was no nameplate over the warehouse.
The Humane Society and the Boys Republic are caring for and evaluating the surviving birds and their adoption availability is pending, while the investigation is ongoing.