A 33-year-old woman in Virginia has been charged with animal cruelty and being an unfit animal owner after police spent nearly 12 hours removing dirty and underfed animals from her home.
After neighbors' complaints of foul odors coming from Megan Barber's home in Mount Vernon, Fairfax County police officers got a search warrant and went in, protecting themselves with hazmat suits and self-contained breathing gear.
Over two dozen live cats, five dogs, a rabbit, three guinea pigs, a hamster and nine birds were removed from the home on Ramsgate Terrace, amidst cluttered conditions including animal feces and debris, police said.
They also took 28 dead animals out of the house.
According to county officials, the live animals' medical conditions ranged from poor to good, with most appearing unclean and malnourished.
Sources told News4 that Barber had come to the attention of police for a similar situation five years ago.
She was not charged at that time, but was warned not to hoard animals.
Neighbors said the smell from the home had also been an issue for a while.
"The sad thing about it is you have to come home to a nice house in a nice neighborhood and you have to listen to either animals screaming up and down all night long or just the stench of garbage and feces," David Kwasnik said. "It's just incredible. It's gone on for quite some time.
Additional charges are pending as the investigation continues.