Animals found living in squalor inside Fitchburg home
FITCHBURG, Mass. (WHDH) -- Firefighters found a house filled with dozens of animals living in squalid conditions when they responded to a Fitchburg house fire.
Investigators say the first call out was to a home in Fitchburg -- a small fire, no major damage-- but neighbors were stunned when they saw dozens of animals getting hauled out.
“No one knew how many animals were in there, no one knew what kind of animals were in there. We didn't find out until the fire department showed up,” said Martha Pulrang, a neighbor. “We had no idea how bad it was inside. We knew outside, but no idea how bad it was inside.”
The animals are now at the MSPCA in Methuen. Workers there call it a case of hoarding and neglect.
“Typically we see dogs and cats in these situations. There were rabbits, snakes, tortoises, turtles, fish,” said Michael Keiley, MSPCA director.
There were about 100 animals in all.
“[The homeowner] was well beyond her means to care for these animals and it was clear these animals were suffering because of that,” said Keiley.
Workers say they found about 50 fish in tanks filled with murky water. They've had to buy new tanks and they've already dished out about $2,000 in medical attention.
Neighbors in Fitchburg say the homeowner kept mostly to herself -- rarely coming outside. Martha
Pulrang wishes she could've helped.
“It’s hard, you love them, you don’t want to see them like that,” said Pulrang said.
7News was told the homeowner voluntarily gave up the animals.
It is unclear if any charges will be filed.