Opelika home evacuated after feces and urine found ‘everywhere,’ - WRBL

Opelika home evacuated after feces and urine found ‘everywhere,’ police say

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Dr. "Buddy" Bruce Dr. "Buddy" Bruce
OPELIKA, Ala. - Dr. Homer “Buddy” Bruce takes care of hundreds of animals a month. He can deal with some pretty messy conditions at his veterinary clinic, but says what he experienced Monday is like nothing he's ever dealt with before.

“I've been in kennels that are dirty, but they don't compare to what was going on this household,” said Dr. Bruce of the Opelika Animal Health Center.

On Monday, Opelika Police called Dr. Bruce, who serves as the county’s Rabies Inspector, to a home on Denson Drive. Police say they had received several complaints from neighbors about the home. They asked Bruce to check on the animals after they found 19 dogs, 2 lizards and a hedgehog. Bruce says he saw feces on the walls, on the floor, on furniture, even in between one of the children's toes because the child had walked barefoot through the house. The tenants and animals were moved out of the home after officials said the house was too dangerous to live in.

“The carpet was so saturated in urine that it would squeeze out from the pressure of your shoe out to the side as you walked around the carpet,” said Dr. Bruce. "And the smell hit you like ammonia when you walked in. It was horrendous."

Lt. Shane Healey of the Opelika Police Department says animal hoarding is a serious issue and as shown in this case, can lead to harmful living conditions.

“As you can imagine with nineteen dogs and puppies living in the house the conditions were probably not the greatest,” said Lt. Healey.

Dr. Bruce says pet-owners often bite off more than they can chew.

“Animal hoarding is a big problem,” said Bruce. “You shouldn't have more animals than you can take care of. If you can manage two, have two. If you can't manage more than two, don't have nineteen.”

The woman living in the house is not facing any charges at this time, but Opelika Police say they're still investigating. Police say the woman was renting the home, but it is not known how long she had been living there.

The woman and the teenage children have been relocated to somewhere safer. The animals have been sent to the Lee County Humane Society. A Humane Society spokesperson told News 3 the animals would be physically evaluated, then most likely put up for adoption.

David Hurst

David Hurst, a graduate of the Univ. of Georgia, focuses on how your tax dollars are being spent.
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