California police discover over 2,000 snakes, parrots, chickens and other animals - around half of them dead

LOS ANGELES (AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE) - US investigators discovered more than 2,000 snakes, parrots, chickens and other animals, around half of them dead, at an industrial park Friday (Aug 4) as they responded to reports of a rotten smell.

"Almost 2,000 chickens, parakeets, lovebirds, and other exotic birds were rescued from an industrial warehouse this morning... dozens of exotic fish were found at the location," the Inland Valley Humane Society and Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said in a statement.

Officers had shown up at the industrial building 48km east of Los Angeles, as part of a separate investigation into the occupant and noticed a smell emanating from inside, police spokesman John Minook told AFP.

A search warrant was served and authorities entered to find more than a thousand chickens, baby chicks, parakeets, parrots, love birds, snakes and fish, in "appalling conditions," the Humane Society said.

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It said there was little ventilation no food or water provided for the animals, as well as animal waste everywhere.

"It's the worst I've seen in nine years in the association," Silvia Lemos, a member of the Humane Society told ABC.

The owner of the animals was arrested earlier this week for charges unrelated to the incident and will now be subject to "several criminal charges of cruelty to animals," the society said.