LOUISA, VA (WWBT) - The Louisa County Sheriff's Office says hundreds of animals were discovered in poor conditions at a farm on West Old Mountain Road on Wednesday.
Crews are still rescuing animals from the farm. It's estimated that 500 will be removed.
Some of the animals were dead by the time they got to the home in the 800 block of Old West Hundred Road. The investigation began when someone called the sheriff's office for runaway goats.
So far, no charges have been filed against the owner.
"It's unbelievable," says Major Donald Lowe with the Louisa Sheriff's office. "I've never seen anything this bad in my career."
That's how rescuers are describing the conditions on the Louisa property. It's so horrific, they had to wear biohazard suits to go inside the home.
They pulled out cages with different species of birds, chicks and ducks.
The property sits on more than forty acres. Rescuers say animals in cages couldn't move. In some cages, there were at least six chickens living in their own waste, which was inches deep.
The water had also turned black and hadn't been changed.
"Obviously, there's a lot of germs, bacteria, a lot of things that can come from this," says Major Lowe. "This obviously has to make these animals sick."
And there was not enough food. On the property, debris, cages and abandoned cars cover the ground. A peacock is missing the top of its beak.
The sheriff's office called in the animal rescue organization Louisa CART to take cats, rabbits, sheep, goats, cows, even emus off the property.
So far, the owner has not been charged, but NBC12 spoke with her son about the horrific conditions.
"She's doing poorly," says Cecil Colna. "She's 77 years old and she lives for these animals. I mean, she loves her kids and her animals. That's the two things in this world that she can't do without."
NBC12 asked about conditions inside the home. Colna says she didn't live there, but, "Yes, my mother is a hoarder. She believes everything has a purpose."
Colna says his mother broke her leg a few months ago, and her children were supposed to help out. He says a brother stopped helping, and things fell behind.
"She has the best of intentions of any person that you would ever want to meet. She is the nicest, sweetest lady that anyone would ever wants to meet."
Meanwhile, the animals are being held at the Louisa Fairgrounds. The rescue group needs specific feeds for the different animals - including goats, chickens, rabbits and ducks - hay, water and volunteers who have farm experience.
You can contact Louisa CART on Facebook or call the Louisa's Sheriff's Office at 540-967-1234.
There's no telling how long the animals will need to be housed at the Louisa Fairgrounds.
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