Dead animals found in Columbia home

This is the townhouse where the animals were discovered. (Photo: Tom Roussey)

Forty dead animals, including rabbits, birds and cats, were discovered in a Columbia townhouse this week.

Authorities said there was no food or water for many of the dead animals found in cages or loose in the home. Also, more than 20 dead animals were discovered in a freezer, including birds, rabbits, a guinea pig and a hermit crab.

Police responded to the 9600 block of Lambeth Court after a property manager reported odors coming from a townhouse.

Police determined that two people resided at the residence but hadn’t been there for at least a week. The owner may be involved with a non-profit animal rescue group, police said. No charges were filed.

Among the live animals were two cats, a bearded dragon lizard and a gerbil. They were impounded by Animal Control and are being evaluated by a veterinarian.

Residents of Columbia's Glenshire community are stunned.

"That's unthinkable that you could just leave that many animals in that house," said neighbor Michael Antonucci.

Some neighbors say they smelled an odor near the home, but had no idea the about the source.

"I thought it was just the sewage of the trash," said neighbor Rex Hubbard.

Neighbors said the couple has not lived there for about six months but until recently still came around.

"The past seven weeks there's been no activity," said neighbor Robin Thompson.

Neighbors also said the couple had moved to a home not far away from the Lambeth Court property.

When ABC7 reporter Tom Roussey knocked, though, no one came to the door. However, sounds of dogs and birds from inside could clearly be heard. In the driveway, there was a trailer for a bird rescue foundation. Just like at the townhouse, there was a notice from police that they wanted to talk to the woman who lived there.