About 400 animals were seized from a single house in Long Island, New York.
According to News12LI, the Nassau SPCA workers in hazmat suits spent eight hours pulling turtles, cats, dogs, sugar gliders, prairie dogs, chinchillas, skunks, lizards, and more from the Bellmore home after it was raided on Tuesday. The rescue mission is being called Operation Noah’s Ark.
Authorities were tipped off to the overwhelming hoarding case by neighbors of the homeowner, who complained about the smells and noises coming from the residence.
“There is a lack of wholesome, fresh, sanitary air in the upstairs where the birds are,” Gary Rogers of Nassau SPCA told the Long Island station. “It’s a condition that you wouldn’t want to live in, and we have a responsibility not to leave the animals there either.”
Many of the animals in the home were found living in their own filth and surviving off dirty water.
Unfortunately, this is not the first time neglected animals have been pulled from this home. Authorities raided the same house last August, removing several animals including an alligator. During the first raid, the owner, Gary Gruber, was given a warning and told to clean up, reports PIX11. Now, after failing to do so, Gruber will face criminal charges, including charges for the illegal possession of wild animals.
Gruber’s attorney, Nathan DeCorpo, said his client is given animals for rehabilitation, but Gruber fell behind on their care after his own health started to deteriorate.
Regardless of what happens to Gruber, all the animals formerly under his care will go on to a better life.
“Every animal that was taken out of here today is going out of state, going to places that deal with animals that were put in these kinds of environments,” Rogers said.