The Weston Police Department issued a statement tonight summarizing the situation at a home on 82 Newtown Turnpike where hundreds of exotic birds, snakes and reptiles were discovered Thursday residing in “deplorable” unsanitary conditions. There were also many snakes and birds found dead.
Police said no arrests have been made at this time and the investigation is active.
Because there were a large number of animals found at the home, they were transferred to several agencies for care, including Rainforest Reptiles of Massachusetts and Rhode Island Parrot Rescue of Warwick, R.I. Police say veterinarian evaluations were performed at the scene by the South Wilton Veterinary Group prior to any birds being transported.
Conditions within the residence prompted a response from local health officials who declared the home “uninhabitable.”
Weston Animal Control Officer Mark Harper said in his 26 years in the business he has never seen such deplorable conditions. “This is a horrendous case of animal cruelty. The house was inundated with birds and snakes. There were feces everywhere,” he said.
Based on public health concerns, police say numerous agencies were contacted to ensure the environment was safe not only to the general public but to the responders and volunteers working on the scene. The Westport Weston Health District, Fairfield Country Hazardous Material Unit, Westport Police Department, and Weston Fire Department, all provided resources and personnel to ensure the environment was not a danger to workers or the public.
The Department is working with various agencies on the investigation, including the Dept. of Energy and Environmental Protection, the Dept. of the State of Connecticut Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security.
The animals were discovered Thursday afternoon after police received a call about a foul odor coming from near the home.
No one was home when police arrived. The officers were so overwhelmed by the smell of the birds and snakes that they called the Dept. of Energy and Environmental Protection for assistance. Officers then found a second building on the property, an aviary, filled with more than 100 birds, primarily parrots and parakeets.
According to the Weston assessor’s records, the property at 82 Newtown Turnpike is owned by Daniel Kopulos, the executive director of the Animal Preservation Alliance and owner of Fauna NYC, a pet store specializing in exotic pets, which until recently was located on the upper west side of New York City. A post on Facebook dated Sept. 10, said Fauna NYC was moving to Yonkers.