The final count is in.
322 animals, 60 are dead, and the rest are being taken care of at the Animal Rescue League after being taken from the home of a southeastern Iowa man.
It’s not just cats and dogs.
Everything from rabbits, to pigeons, to sugar gliders was taken from the Drakesville home of Roger Blew, just south of Ottumwa.
He is yet to be charged in connection with the deaths or neglect of any of the animals.
Now the ARL has the task of nursing them back to health and finding them loving homes.
“You’re kind of used to this sort of stuff,” said a volunteer.
Taking care of animals who have been victims of hoarding is nothing new for volunteers at the animal rescue league, but this case is unique.
“In any type of hoarding situation, we have all cats, all dogs, or one species. Our challenge is when we have this variety,” said Josh Colvin with the Animal Rescue League.
30 different types of animals all have different medical needs and specific diets.
“Get them comfortable, get them food and water, get them to settle down. That’s our main goal,” said Robyn Dobernecker, an animal care supervisor with the ARL.
Fortunately, the ARL has come across every animal now in their possession.
It isn’t cheap to take care of them and it certainly won’t be easy to find them all a home.
“Monetary donations are great when we have this variety so we can buy the items it takes to take care of them,” said Colvin.
While rabbits and even roosters won’t be difficult to place, pigeons and many of the birds will be.
“If we have enthusiasts, people with a passion for specific animals, let us know,” said Colvin.
While the ARL waits for enthusiasts and people interested in adopting these animals to come forward, volunteers will be busy bathing and feeding them and each animal will receive a thorough medical exam.
After that, the animals will be on their way to caring homes free of the filth they were found in.
15 roosters have already been adopted by local farmers.
Many of the animals will be up for adoption this week once they’re healthy enough to leave.
You can visit http://www.arl-iowa.org or call the ARL at 515-262-9503 for information on how to adopt, donate, and volunteer.