More than 40 animals were removed from a Baker residence Sunday after authorities deemed the home uninhabitable.
The floors at 12621 Centerra Court are covered in dog and cat feces and the air inside the two-story home reeks of animal urine, according to Hilton Cole, director of the East Baton Rouge Parish Animal Control and Rescue Center.
“The condition of the home is abhorrent,” Cole said. “Nothing should be living there.”
An East Baton Rouge Parish deputy called the Animal Control and Rescue Center about 3:30 p.m. Sunday after he noticed the conditions while investigating a complaint about a dog that had escaped from the house, Cole said.
Wearing a respirator similar to what firefighters don before going into a burning building, Cole said one of his investigators went inside the house and found 17 dogs, 25 cats and a bird.
Most of the animals were roaming around the home, he said.
Others were locked in cages.
Although the animals appeared to be well fed, Cole said some had noticeable skin issues and many could have respiratory problems.
A veterinarian with the Baton Rouge Companion Animal Alliance, where the cats, dogs and bird are being kept, is scheduled to examine the animals, he said.
Meanwhile, Cole said authorities are trying to locate the owner of the home, whom he declined to identify but said his office has dealt with previously.
The most recent interaction with the woman was two to three months ago, he said.
Someone contacted the Animal Control and Rescue Center about the condition of a dog the woman kept at her office, Cole said. The woman corrected the situation and was not cited.
The woman also was not cited a year ago after she cleaned up her Centerra residence after a complaint was made about the condition of the home, Cole said.
At the time, the woman was living at the home with a few cats, he said.
The woman has since moved out and brought more animals in, Cole said, adding, “The situation escalated pretty quickly.”
If found, the woman could be arrested on counts of animal cruelty, he said.
Some of the animals taken from the home on Centerra have been were adopted, said Kimberly Sherlaw, executive director of the Baton Rouge Companion Animal Alliance.
All of the animals equipped with a microchip are being checked to determine where they are from, she said.
Based on what she knows of the situation, Sherlaw said the woman responsible for the animals is most likely an animal hoarder, which is someone who takes in a large number of animals but cannot properly care for them.
“Their intentions are good,” she said of most animal hoarders. “But they reach a tipping point where they are doing more harm than good.”