Over 60 Exotic Animals Found Dead, 41 Alive in Ames Apartment Bedroom

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AMES, Iowa --Tuesday afternoon Ames Animal Control responded to a complaint of a bad smell coming from an apartment in the area. They knew something was wrong when they entered the building.

“We could smell excess urine, ammonia, feces, and what smelled like dead animals,” said Animal Control Supervisor Ron Edwards.

It got worse when they opened the door.

“The smell was beyond overwhelming, it almost knocked you out it was that bad,” said Edwards.

But, they didn't see anything out of the ordinary; until they looked inside the bedroom.

“The 41 animals that we have here and over 60 deceased animals were all inside this one bedroom. It was a regular sized bedroom, not to big, not too small, but over 100 animals dead and alive inside one bedroom,” said Edwards.

Animals that included chinchillas, lizards, birds, fish, and a ball python. Animal control Edwards says it was difficult to process.

“Conditions were just extreme, so live animals and dead animals of similar species were in the same cage together. Some of them weren't in cages they were little plastic tubs, [it] was really hard to see. It was disgusting, the smell was overwhelming, and more than anything it was just sad,” he said.

Charges have not been filed yet, so Ames police is withholding the location of the hoarding case and the name of the woman involved in it. Edwards hopes that the woman involved is able to get some help.

“It really is a mental health issue, someone that thinks that they're doing good for these animals and they often get overwhelmed and they end up with dead animals that they're you know, stacking in boxes,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Ames Animal Shelter needs help caring for these animals themselves. They say some animals need very specific care and have put a wish list of equipment and food on their Facebook page.

They're also taking monetary donations by phone. For that you can call (515) 239-5530.

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