“Massive Animal Rescue” Underway as Hundreds Taken From Iowa Home

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa  --  The Cedar Valley Humane Society is working on what it calls a "massive animal rescue" at a home in Vinton, Iowa.

Vinton police say an administrative search warrant at a property located in the 600 block of W. 6th Street was executed by the city's building inspector/code enforcement officer and members of the police department. Officers went to the site to investigate suspected violations of ordinances regarding "dangerous and vicious animals."

Upon arrival, officers found an estimated minimum 500 animals inside the home and a detached garage, and further investigation may reveal up to 1,000 animals present. Guinea pigs, rabbits, mice, rats, hedgehogs, chinchillas, turtles, fish, birds, hamsters, gerbils, and a ball python are among the discovered animals. Several were found deceased throughout the house and some were stored in a freezer.

The Cedar Valley Humane Society removed the animals from the residence with the help of Friends of the Shelter and Wild Thunder Animal Rescue. A veterinarian determined many of the animals were malnourished, dehydrated, and living in overcrowded conditions among "excessive amounts of fecal matter."

Four children were also living at the residence. Police say their parents are currently cooperating with the Iowa Department of Human Services.

The investigation is ongoing and no charges have yet been filed.

The CVHS is asking for monetary donations, as well as small animal cages, small animal bedding, and small mammal food.