MUNCIE, Ind (August 6, 2014)-- Hundreds of animals were seized Wednesday from a storefront in Muncie.
More than 700 animals were taken from the facility, including an alligator, parakeets, dwarf hamsters, guinea pigs, corn snakes, two pythons, turtles, hermit crabs, lizards, rats, two hedgehogs, a frog, a parrot and several hundred mice. Officials also found 78 dead mice and one dead hermit crab. The rest of the animals appear to be in good condition, according to staff members at the Muncie Animal Shelter.
Delaware County Director of Animal Care and Services Phil Peckinpaugh says the store was extremely dirty.
"The smell was overwhelming. It could have knocked you over. The sheer volume of animals was also overwhelming. This is definitely the largest seizure of any type of animals we've ever done in the history of Delaware County."
The business where these animals were located is located at 3012 N. Granville Ave. in Muncie. Dan Garonzik was apparently living in the business. He said he wanted to open a pet store at some point in the future. He cooperated with police and criminal charges have not been filed. However, Muncie police say he will face several ordinance violations.
The animals are currently being held at the Muncie Animal Shelter, but Peckinpaugh says he is reaching out to other agencies and rescues for help taking care of the animals until they can find permanent homes. In the meantime, the shelter is accepting donations, including food, cages and heat lamps.