KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Twenty birds, three German Shepherds and nearly 20 cats were rescued from one Kansas City home Friday, and the owner was arrested for animal cruelty.
The arrest and rescue efforts came after several agencies executed a search warrant on the Pennsylvania Avenue home. The woman police arrested was found guilty of animal cruelty in 2012. Court records show she has convictions in nine other animal neglect cases.
On Friday, animal health officers removed cage after cage of birds from the home. Three dogs and more than a dozen cats also lived inside, in what officials call "deplorable conditions."
"Haven't seen anything like it before, and I've been unfortunately on a lot of cases like this," said John Baccala, spokesperson for Kansas City's Animal Health and Public Safety Department.
The smell was so bad, KC firefighters had to come and ventilate the home while crews worked. It was the fire department that led animal investigators here initially. They responded to a medical call in June and sent for help.
"We since responded after that to see if the conditions were any better," Baccala said. "They did not get any better, so we went forward and tried to get a search warrant today, and that's why we are there we here right now."
Over the last decade, Baccala said the department has been to the home 37 times.
According to the KC Pet Project, animals from the house have previously come to the shelter at least twice. In 2012, investigators brought in 11 birds, six dogs and 19 cats.
Pennsylvania Avenue neighbors have seen it all before -- and it hasn't gotten any better.
"It's a problem when you have that many cats reproduce," neighbor Tom Crane said.
He said the cats from this house wander into the streets. Animal health officers tried to take them in Friday when they found them in the house, but they scattered.
"Someone that cared a lot for animals is getting into a situation where they have so many animals, it effects other people in the neighborhood," Crane said.
The animals rescued from the house are now at the KC Pet Project.
A spokesperson said they started the day without any open kennels for dogs, and they're trying to move animals into foster homes and increase adoptions to make room for the rescued dogs. The shelter took in 60 animals in total Friday, including the ones from Pennsylvania Avenue.
The shelter is working with rescue groups to make arrangements for the birds.