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'Operation Noah's Ark': More Than 400 Animals - Including a Skunk and Prairie Dogs - Rescued from Filthy Home


More than 400 animals were removed from the filthy and unsanitary conditions of a New York home, after officials responded to reports from the neighbors of a horrible stench coming from next door.

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Lizards, a free roaming skunk, an alligator snapping turtle, sugar gliders, prairie dogs and more than 100 turtles were rescued during the extraction, officials told InsideEdition.com.

There were also hundreds of birds, including macaws and African grey parrots, according to authorities.

"It sounded like living next to the Amazon jungle," neighbor Dawn Kephart told CBS New York.

After examining the home, veterinarians advised that all of the animals should be removed, due to unfit living conditions.

Officials from the Nassau County District Attorney's Animal Crimes Unit and the county SPCA had to dress in Hazmat suits as they removed the animals in a process that lasted from sunrise until sunset.

“In 34 years, this is the largest amount of animals I’ve ever seen removed from a home,” Nassau County SPCA spokesman Gary Rogers told InsideEdition.com.

Animals were placed in cages where they were examined and tagged before being taken away in trucks.

Many of the animals were believed to be ill, with one bird having to be taken immediately to a veterinarian, and many were owned without permission by the homeowner, officials said.

Gary Gruber is the homeowner of the house. Earlier in the year, Gruber’s home was examined and he was instructed to clean up the house within 24 hours or face charges of animal neglect, according to officials.

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But Gruber has since gotten more animals and conditions in his cramped home have allegedly worsened.

The removal, which has been referred to as "Operation Noah’s Ark," took place in what officials are calling dirty and harmful conditions.

"Animals were living in an unhealthy, unsanitary environment. We had to get a vet. There was a foul odor. Birds had infected water and no fresh air," Rogers told InsideEdition.com.

The investigation is still underway and the homeowner has not been arrested.

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