AMES, Iowa (CNN) - The Ames Animal Shelter closed to the public Wednesday to deal with what it called "one of the worst hoarding cases our facility has ever seen," KCCI reported.
According to Ames Animal Control director Ron Edwards, Animal Control and shelter staff responded to a three-bedroom apartment to find approximately 100 exotic animals, 41 of which were alive.
Among the animals found were fish, geckos, anoles, chinchillas, parakeets, cockatiels, a rabbit, rats, a ball python, a European glass lizard, hamsters, a frog and a water dragon.
"A lot of them were pieces of animals that had been dead for a while," Edwards said. "There were several skulls that we saw with just clumps of hair. These animals just rotted away."
Edwards said most of the animals were recovered from one of the three apartment bedrooms. He said some dead animals were kept with live animals, while others were found in the cardboard carriers in which they were purchased.
Some animals were reportedly without food and water while others had no access to sunlight.
"It is hard on us emotionally, and I can tell you there was definitely some tears when we kept finding more and more dead animals in the apartment," Edwards said.
Anyone interested in sending donations to the Ames Animal Shelter to cover the animals' veterinary care may send a check to 515 Clark Ave., Ames, IA 50010, or donate over the phone by calling 515-239-5530.
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