The four animals rescued alive from a house where 40 others were found dead are now available for adoption.
The two cats, gerbil and bearded dragon lizard are at the Howard County Animal Control and Adoption Center, on Davis Road in Columbia.
They were found Jan. 16 in a home in the 9600 block of Lambeth Court, a house county police had been called to after the property manager noticed odors coming from inside. Animal Control officers subsequently found 19 dead animals in a freezer — birds, rabbits, a guinea pig and a hermit crab, plus another 21 dead animals in cages and loose elsewhere, including birds, cats, rabbits and a snake, police said.
The four animals now up for adoption had survived for more than a week without food and water, according to police spokeswoman Elizabeth Schroen.
The cats are purebred chocolate point Siamese, a male named Si who is about nine years old and a female named Sumi who is about five. They are a bonded pair, and the preference is that they be adopted together, Schroen said.
The gerbil, a white female adult, is named Cotton Ball. The bearded dragon lizard, a female adult named Matilda, already had one application filed for its adoption as of Feb. 1.
Adoption fees are calculated based on the cost of vaccines and spaying or neutering the animals. The facility's phone number is 410-313-2780.
No charges have been filed yet in the case. Police are continuing to investigate who was responsible for caring for the animals and have sent evidence to a laboratory to determine when and why the animals died, Schroen said.
The results of those tests are expected to take several weeks.