PASADENA, Maryland (WBAL) - Animal Control officials in Anne Arundel County, Maryland have removed 40 live animals and the remains of several others from a Pasadena home.
Animal Control officers and county police served a warrant at the home on Thursday and said they removed two dogs, one cat, two turtles, seven birds, four chickens, one goat, one pig, one chinchilla, three snakes, 12 aquatic animals, three geese, one duck, one kinkajou (a rainforest mammal) and one tarantula.
Shane Taylor, who lives at the home, said he is not an animal hoarder.
"Was I neglecting them? Absolutely not. Was it too much for me? Yes, but I was not neglecting them. Too much for me as in I was going nonstop taking care of these animals, and my neighbors would tell you in a heartbeat they see me all day long taking care of the animals," Taylor said.
Molly West lives down the street from Taylor.
"Animals -- they were never a problem," West said. "He took care of them. He took very good care of them. They always were fed. They have that large property to roam on. It's not like they're on an eighth of an acre. They've got a decent size property over there."
Officials said a majority of the animals had no food or water, and the animals were being housed in unacceptable conditions.
A dead rabbit and several dead quail were also removed from the home.
"Most of the animals we took from the residence did not have access to fresh food or water. Those that did have food had very little. Those that did have water, it was not palatable water that they could drink from," an Animal Control official said.
Police said they've been investigating the number of animals inside the house since August 31, when someone brought the case forward over concerns for the animals' safety and welfare.
At that time, detectives said five animals in the home that are known to be able to carry and transmit rabies were confiscated by authorities and sent for testing.
Shortly after that, ten animals were voluntarily surrendered to Animal Control and eventually given to rescue groups or adoptive homes.
However, police said, Taylor then went out and got more animals.
Animal Control said charges are pending, but Taylor said he feels he was misled by Animal Control and was cooperating with them fully.
"This is spreading like wildfire that I'm an animal hoarder and everything, and I have all kinds of charges against me. I wasn't even told I have charges against me," Taylor said. "I have witnesses that were there when Animal Control said, 'If you cooperate, we won't press charges.'"
Animal Control said it is assessing the seized animals and will work with rescue groups to find new homes for some of them.