A Wisconsin home was deemed uninhabitable after police say more than 330 chinchillas were found living inside.
Police responded to the home in the 2200 block of Melody Lane in Waukesha Sunday morning for a well-being check when they said they saw “obvious living condition issues” at the residence.
Officers called the home a “hoarder home” and said it was filled with stacks of clothing and various belongings.
Police said 331 living chinchillas were housed in the living room and dining room of the rental property and 25 deceased chinchillas were found in the garage and a chest freezer in the basement.
Three children-- a 7-year-old, a 9-year-old and a 17-year-old – also lived in the home, according to authorities.
“The smell of ammonia was so overwhelming that officers contacted the Fire Department, who were able to test the environment with specialized equipment,” a release from the Waukesha Police Department said. “They deemed the air unsafe to breath and the residence uninhabitable.”
The Humane Animal Welfare Society plans to take custody of the chinchillas and evaluate their health but will conduct "further examinations" before doing so as the owners refused to surrender custody of the animals.
The Department of Health and Human Services also responded to the scene and said child neglect charges will be referred for each parent. Officials also planned to explore charges for poor treatment of animals, but it was not immediately clear what those charges would be.
Police did not release the identities of the animals' owners.
Photo Credit: Waukesha Police Department