GRAND ISLAND, Neb. -- The Central Nebraska Humane Society worked to save neglected animals on Friday, in one of its largest missions to date.
200 chickens, 6 goats, 5 bunnies, a dog, and a tortoise were rescued from what are being called undesirable conditions in Grand Island.
"The Animal Control Authority and the Central Nebraska Humane Society are working on our biggest neglect case that we've had," said Laurie Dethloff, consultant to the shelter.
Animal control officers said they went into the field thinking they'd be rescuing 30 chickens from a confined area on Thursday.
They were wrong.
According to city code, no person except a commercial retail establishment can have more than four chickens per one acre. In this case, they found 200 on residential space.
Animal shelter officials said they saw dead chickens being eaten by live chickens, moldy food, algae floating in the water - several ways disease can spread.
"There was a deceased goat that was sitting right next to the dog, so you have the maggots, you have the flies that are also carrying the disease from the goat to the dog, which is extremely unhealthy so we needed to get them out as soon as possible and get them to better conditions," said one animal control worker.
They returned with several of the chickens Thursday and went back Friday to rescue the rest.
"The numbers that are in this residence are over code and in not very good condition, so there are multiple levels of charges that can be filed," Dethloff said.
The location is undisclosed at this time but the owners are cooperating.
"We have talked to the owners, we are trying to work with them as much as possible, they are working with us, our main concern is to get these animals to a safer environment," said an animal control worker.
The organization said it found out about the case through a collaborative effort with the city.
They worked together to get a search warrant by a Hall County judge, remove the animals from the site, and take care of the animals.
"We wanted to share with the community how important the collaborations that we have with the city, and the county attorney, code and law enforcement, are working together to get animals to a safer and healthier situation," Dethloff said.
The owners reportedly contacted authorities Friday to figure out the exact situation and charges.