More than 700 exotic animals found in store

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (CNN) – Pythons, hedgehogs and alligators, not the latest attractions at the zoo, but animals found packed into a room Delaware county authorities say is not much bigger than this garage.

“You don’t expect to walk into a building and find 710 animals,” said Phil Peckingpaugh.

These exotic animals were discovered by chance, when the Muncie building commissioner caught wind of a foul odor, “The first thing is I was just overwhelmed by the smell, the smell was just awful.”

Muncie animal officials say a man was living in this shop, in a strip mall on the three thousand block of north Grandville Avenue.

They say he told authorities he wanted to open a pet store but didn’t have the money.

“That is ridiculous there’s not way that they can keep them feed, cleaned and care for in any way. I just think it’s appalling.”

“If you’re caring for 710 pets there is no way especially the conditions of the building itself and having to worry about not having enough money for permits.  There’s no way this gentleman could care for any of these animals appropriately.”

The owner has turned over the. Animals now it’s up to workers at the shelter to care for them.

“Not for one minute am I going to claim to be an expert on any of these animals because I’m not. I’ll tell you anything you want to know about a dog or cat but there’s not a lot I can tell you about an alligator or boa constrictor,” said Amberly Riley.

Animal care leaders say these animals are a strain on their staff, supplies and building but they’re determined to give them a better home than they had before.

Delaware county authorities said the pet owner will not face criminal charges, but will likely be fined for not having permits for all of the animals.

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