‘Totally horrifying’: Neighbors react after 100 animals were removed from Oakland County home

Officials say 16 of the animals died

Neighbors react to 100 animals being removed from Independence Township home

INDEPENDENCE TOWNSHIP, Mich. – Oakland County Animal Control brought animals to the shelter, rescuing cats, dogs, rabbits and a lizard.

Animal Control said it started off as a cat rescue mission but quickly turned into something unbearable. Neighbors said they were all in shock.

“I saw about five Oakland County Animal Control vans in front of the house,” said one neighbor.

Animal Control officers were at the neighbor’s home on Northview Drive in Independence Township.

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“Then they just kept going in and out. I saw about eight pet carriers into the house. They were bringing dogs out on some leashes,” said a neighbor.

Patrick Fanning with Oakland County Animal Control said his officers responded to the home for a welfare check and found a lot more.

“We ended up taking in a total of 100 animals -- 82 of them were cats. There were four rabbits, eight Ferrets, and five dogs. As well as a bearded dragon, which is a type of lizard,” Fanning said.

On Thursday, Local 4 cameras got a closer look at most of the animals.

“The conditions in the home were very unsanitary. Along with a very high temperature in the home, there was no air conditioning. Several of the cats we found there at the home were already deceased. Two of them also died in transit here to the shelter. Our veterinary staff had to euthanized some of them and we also had some died over night here,” Fanning said.

Many neighbors said they didn’t know that was happening inside the home.

“Just totally horrifying. That’s just awful. You never know just from the looks on the outside of the house that that was happening on the inside,” said a neighbor.

Local 4 reached out to the homeowner, who declined to speak.

The case is under investigation and the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office will review and consider criminal charges.