Hundreds of Animals Seized from Visalia Home

Visalia, CA, USA The sound of parakeets and other birds is piercing to the ears inside of the Valley Oak SPCA in Visalia. They were all seized from a Visalia home Friday, along with 20 iguanas, dozens of rabbits, seven turtles, and several snakes. "The confinement of the animals was extreme," said animal control officer Steve Simonek.

Simonek says about five hundred animals were all kept in a garage and then sold at swap meets across the valley. "That kind of business, you can't have out in a home. There's just too many animals and it's against the city of Visalia's codes," said Simonek.

Simonek says most of the animals seemed to be okay health wise, but there were just too many of them. Shelter workers are now scrambling to find more cages to get them out of the conditions they were found in.

Simonek says the owner of the animals, Manuel Hernandez, may now face animal cruelty charges. But Hernandez says the animals were all well cared for and with all of the animals gone he has no way to support his family. "I don't know what happens next ... I don't have any money," said Hernandez. Hernandez says he had no idea keeping all of the animals in his home was illegal and he put all of his money into his business.

Now, he's not the only one in a bind. The Valley Oak SPCA finds itself without the room or supplies needed to care for the animals and is asking the public for help.


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