Police find 40 dead animals in a Columbia townhouse

COLUMBIA, Md. - Police in Howard County are trying to find the people who lived in a townhome where 40 dead animals were found this week.

It happened in the 9600 block of Lambeth Court, in the Glenshire Towne complex near the intersection of I-95 and Route 32.

On Monday, police say a property manager smelled something and called 911.

Police and animal control officers found 40 dead animals in the town home -- 21 of them all around the home:  birds, rabbits, a guinea pig, and a hermit crab.  And then in the freezer, 19 more:  birds, cats, rabbits and a snake.

"I couldn't sleep last night when I thought it was just one animal.  I really had a hard time.  To hear this, it's going to be another disturbing night," said a neighbor who would only identify herself as "Darlene."

Neighbors say the woman who rented the home had a husband or boyfriend, along with a child -- and they knew she had at least two dogs.

"The only animals I ever saw them with was the two dogs and of course the parrot you could hear.  And I walked that circle and I never smelled anything," Darlene said.

Police say the woman who lived in that home was involved with a non-profit animal rescue group.  They say no one has seen her in at least a week.

Power and heat to the home had been turned off -- the animals left to die in the freezing home, with no food or water.

"You just can't comprehend that someone would do that. It's devastating," said neighbor Michael Antonucci.

The only surviving animals were two cats, a lizard and a gerbil.  They're being taken care of by Howard County Animal Control.

"I've only seen them with a couple of dogs and that's it," said another neighbor, Yaye Essayas.  "I thought that was it and it's a huge surprise to find out they had 40 different animals in there."

If you know where the people who lived in that home might be, you are asked to call Howard County Police at (410) 313-STOP.

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