Nearly 2,000 Animals Discovered in ‘Deplorable’ California Warehouse

When they showed up at an industrial park in Montclair, Calif., earlier this month to investigate a man living in one of the warehouses, police officers were shocked by what they found inside the unit.

Before they even opened the doors, they could smell something awful – “an odor of feces and decay. For lack of a better term, a chicken farm smell,” Montclair Police Department Sgt. John Minook told the Los Angeles Times.

Inside, the warehouse was crammed wall-to-wall with cages, industrial water tanks and trash. Inside the cages and wandering around the floor were nearly 2,000 animals, including chickens, parakeets, lovebirds and reptiles. Exotic fish languished in the tanks. No food was provided for the animals, and the floor was covered with feces and urine. About 250 of the animals were dead.

“This is probably the worst I’ve seen in my career,” Minook told the Times.

Silvia Lemus, an investigator with the Inland Valley Humane Society & S.P.C.A. (IVHS), said the same thing. “This is the worst that I’ve ever seen in my nine years with the organization,” she told KABC. “Inhuman conditions, deplorable conditions, completely unsanitary.”

With the help of public works employees, all of the animals were removed from the warehouse. The process of carrying them out took the entire afternoon. The exotic birds were taken to the IVHS in Pomona. The chickens and chicks are being cared for by the IVHS staff at Boys Republic, a private school and farm in Chino for at-risk teenagers.

An animal cruelty investigation is underway by the IVHS, Department of Health and the Montclair Police Department. The unidentified owner of the animals had been arrested earlier that week on unrelated charges and is facing several felony animal cruelty charges, the IVHS reported.

The man had moved into the warehouse about three years ago, but he recently became engaged in “bizarre activity,” according to Peggy King, the office manager of another business in the industrial park.

“Animals being delivered, the smell, the noise, him roaming around, we have cameras on the buildings, so you see him walking throughout all hours of the night,” she told KTLA.

Another neighbor in the complex told KABC the man seemed to be acting as a pet wholesaler.

Just two months ago, animal control officers up north in Fresno, Calif., discovered nearly 1,000 small animals inside a sweltering truck with no food or water. Amazingly, the majority of the 955 birds, reptiles and other critters survived and were taken to local shelters. In that disturbing case, the animals were apparently intended to be sold at a local livestock swap meet.

People from across the country offered to adopt those animals, and the same thing is happening again now. On the IVHS Facebook page, people from as far away as New Jersey have expressed interest in providing forever homes for what the IVHS has dubbed the “Flock of Montclair.”

HOW TO HELP

If you’re interested in adopting one of the rescued birds or other animals, check the IVHS Facebook page for updates as to when they’ll become available for adoption.

For information about making a donation to help pay for the care of the “Flock of Montclair” and the other rescued animals, visit the IVHS website.

If you happen to be in the area, a fundraiser will be held Aug. 26 at Dragon’s Tale Brewery in Montclair.

Photo credit: Inland Valley Humane Society & S.P.C.A.

128 comments

Melania P
Melania P17 days ago

Horrible, I followed on facebook and shared everywhere!

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Jennifer H
Jennifer H29 days ago

Disgusting. How could it have taken so long?

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Margie FOURIE
Margie Fabout a month ago

Terrible.

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Camilla Vaga
Camilla Vagaabout a month ago

horrible, how can people be so cruel to animals

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One Heart i
One Heart incabout a month ago

Thanks!!!

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One Heart i
One Heart incabout a month ago

Thanks!!!

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Carl R
Carl Rabout a month ago

Thanks!!!

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Carl R
Carl Rabout a month ago

Thanks!!!

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ANA MARIJA R
ANA MARIJA Rabout a month ago

No polite comment :(( The only good thing is that these poor animals were rescued.

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joan s
joan sabout a month ago

This is deplorable!

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