‘Never seen a situation like this’: Hundreds of animals found in Weston home

WESTON -- Police discovered hundreds of animals alive and dead in barn behind a local home.

Calling it one of the worst cases they've ever seen, animal control officers were investigating at a home on Newtown Turnpike in Weston after a foul smell was reported Thursday afternoon.

They found numerous animals, both dead and alive, but were overwhelmed by the smell and evacuated. When back up came they reentered, and found dozens of reptiles and birds in severe distress. The home appeared unoccupied.

They contacted the owner, who gave permission for officers to enter a barn behind the home. More than 100 exotic birds, some dead and some alive, were found in deplorable conditions.

Police and animal control officers spent the evening on the scene Thursday, and returned Friday morning. They found exotic birds, snakes and other reptiles.

"I couldn't describe the way this smells if I tried," said FOX 61 reporter Jenna DeAngelis, who is on the scene and will continue to provide the latest details.

“Between the two structures on the property we found I would say an excess of 200 animals,” Weston Emergency Management Director Joseph Miceli said. “There were, I would say, dozens of animals between the reptiles and birds that we did find deceased and in various stages of decomposition.”

The animals, most of which were held in a barn behind the home, were brought to different places, including the Rain forest Reptiles in Massachusetts and Rhode Island Parrot Rescue. Veterinarians from the South Wilton Veterinary Group examined the birds before they were transported.

Mark Harper, a Weston Animal Control officer, said he has never seen a situation like this in his 26 year career.

Weston Police Department Sg. Patrick Daubert said the same. “All of the people that have been assisting us today, have never seen anything of this magnitude. It’s quite shocking.”

Weston Police, Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, the Department of  Agriculture and other agencies are involved.

"Our Environmental Conservation Officers determined none of dead or live animals there were in violation of regulations concerning possession of exotic or dangerous animals. Our Emergency Response Team did assist in cleanup of site and removal of living animals, that were taken by a facility that is able to care for them," said Dennis Schain, communications director of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

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