BAKER, LA (WAFB) - A routine call about a dog running wild through a Baker neighborhood led East Baton Rouge deputies to a house full of animals; 43 to be exact.
Officers said the house on Centerra Court smelled so bad, they had to wear masks just to go inside. Animal control is still looking for the owner.
The Director of Animal Control says they are looking for what they call a hoarder. Hilton Cole says the dogs and cats were well fed, but the conditions they were left in were not fit for family pets.
Dog houses have been placed around the home, but neighbors say the house is more like a kennel. A sign on the door reads "Stay out. No one is allowed in my house."
Sunday afternoon, Sheriff's Deputies and Animal Control officers went in.
They found 17 dogs, 25 cats and a bird.
"The shelter is already at capacity, and so in a particular hoarding case, when we see that - that brings another 43 animals into the shelter that need immediate care," said Kim Sherlaw with Companion Animal Alliance.
Cole says some of the animals appear to be in good health, but others have developed skin conditions because of the way they were living in the home.
"Subjected to extreme fecal urea, burning sensations of nitrogen and urea in air and house, dirty conditions all over the facility," said Cole. He says the house appears to have been set up as a sort of animal rescue, but the woman who started it, also abandoned it.
They are still looking for her, to ask questions and decide what, if any, charges she will face.
One neighbor told WAFB he is relieved to know the animals have been removed. He says he saw a rat run from that house over to his. The Sheriff's Department has left charges up to Animal Control.