Very disturbing news coming out of Columbia where police say they found 40 dead animals in a home.

They say the animals were in freezers, in cages and other places on the property. The house appeared to be lived-in, but police have not found the owner.

Here's the release:


Howard County Animal Control is investigating a case where 40 dead pets were found in a Columbia home yesterday.

Police responded to the 9600 block of Lambeth Court at approximately 2:30 p.m. when a property manager reported odors coming from a townhouse. Officers discovered 40 dead animals and four live animals in poor condition.

Animal Control officers responded to evaluate the location. On the property, there were 19 deceased animals in a freezer, including birds, rabbits, a guinea pig and a hermit crab. In cages and loose in the home, there were 21 deceased animals, including birds, cats, rabbits and a snake.

Investigators determined many of the deceased animals had no food or water in their cages or available to those roaming. There was pet food in the home, but it was not accessible to the caged and roaming pets. The power and heat in the home had been turned off. It appears a person was residing at the location, but based on information from neighbors, no one had been there in more than a week. It is unclear how long the animals had been unattended.

The occupant of the home was not located, and police are working at this time to locate and interview her.

Investigators believe she may have been involved with a nonprofit animal rescue group. At this time, no charges have been filed.

The live animals, two cats, a bearded dragon lizard and a gerbil, were impounded by Animal Control and are being evaluated by a veterinarian. They appear to be dehydrated and underweight.

Police continue to investigate and ask anyone with information to call 410-313-STOP.