Anchorage Animal Care and Control seized more than 30 dogs and about 50 parakeets in an Eagle River home on Saturday.
Anchorage police and the health department helped in the animal rescue.
Lester Mendez,46, and Daniel Hoffman,50, who lived in the home, were arrested on animal cruelty charges. APD Lt. Dave Parker says they each face two counts of animal cruelty, one count for each species. The arrests come after police and animal control responded to a tip from a maintenance worker, who had been called to the home to check on a heating problem.
Parker says the house was filled with dog feces and he called the conditions horrible. The health department has forbidden anyone to live there.
Animal control has taken in the dogs and birds, however the health conditions of the animals may take a few days to determine, says Brooke Taylor with Animal Control.
Most of the dogs are small, many of them are Chihuhuas. Taylor says veterinarians are in the process of examing the animals and it will be a while before any of them are available for adoption.
Animal rescue groups say it will likely take time and work to rehabilitate the animals.
Maureen O'Nell, executive director of the Alaska SPCA, says there are many behaviors that an animal can develop due to neglect.
"A dog that has been through neglect and abuse, you can see shyness in them, you can see them cowering away from people. A pretty bad situation is aggression," says O'Nell.
It is still unclear why the men were keeping all of the animals under one roof, but Amber O'Neill with the Alaska Bird Club, says often times, people end up with too many animals because they are either breeding them, or believe they are helping them.
"The hoarders actually think they're doing the animals a service. They think that they know more about taking care of these animals than everybody else," says O'Neill.
According to Animal Control, people can help the animals in this cruelty case by adopting an animal that has been waiting on a new home for a while.