SPCA steps in to help hundreds of animals living in deplorable conditions inside home.
A 200-pound snapping turtle, 4-foot-long alligator, hundreds of birds, lizards, and more were found to be living in deplorable conditions inside of a home in Bellmore, New York.
The home belonged to Gary Gruber who was known for taking in animals to “rehabilitate” them. After several failed inspections and warnings to fix numerous issues, the SPCA and U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife were forced to step in to help the animals.
The 300 birds and other creatures living on the second floor were so loud they could be heard from the street. The birds were extremely stressed and covered in feces that had built up on the bottoms of cages over a long period of time. Their food and water had turned a slimy green and possibly septic.
“The place is an abomination,” said Bob Sowers, head of the Nassau SPCA. “It is totally toxic.”
A four-foot-long alligator (pictured above) was found living in a hot tub with only enough room to swim in circles. He was found to have sores and a few small cuts on his sides from never being allowed to leave the water.
Gerber’s lawyer said that the animals were in good health and the conditions were not filthy. He also said the alligator had been allowed to roam the second floor with the other animals.
Earlier in the week, on August 19, Gruber was given 24 hours to clean up the animals living conditions or be faced with arrest on numerous accounts of animal neglect.
Gruber is insistent on keeping all of the animals and said he would do whatever he had to do to comply with their demands, including hiring a cleaning service to take care of everything.
Officials did seize the alligator, which Gruber did not have a permit for. It was taken to a local pet store that specialized in reptiles.
They wanted to take the 200-pound snapping turtle that was living in the basement, but they could not figure out how to get the giant turtle up the basement stairs.
If he complies with the cleaning order Gruber will be allowed to keep most of the animals as long as he stays in compliance and passes all future inspections.