Man lived with 600 animals in strip mall storefront

MUNCIE, Ind. — A man reportedly living in a strip mall with an alligator, two hedgehogs and more than 500 mice had to give up more than 600 animals to authorities Wednesday.

The man, whose name was not immediately released, also had a python, birds and rats on the property where he had aspired to open a pet shop, said Superintendent Phil Peckinpaugh of the Muncie Animal Shelter.

However, a veterinarian who has been examining the man's pets is saying that some aren't in the best of health. All 632 were being taken to the Muncie shelter.

JULY: More than 350 dogs seized from suspected puppy mill
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Among the animals seized:

• 541 mice, plus 78 that were dead

• 29 rats

• 15 guinea pigs

• 12 hamsters

• 7 lizards

• 6 small birds

• 5 corn snakes

• 4 turtles

• 3 hermit crabs

• 2 hedgehogs

• 1 foot-long alligator

• 1 frog and

• 1 parrot

"What are you doing?" the parrot, who called itself "Pretty Bird," asked rescuers as they cleared out the storefront.

Criminal charges are unlikely, Muncie police said.

But the man was violating city ordinances and will face fines, city officials said. Muncie Building Commissioner Craig Nichols discovered the animal-filled space Wednesday when he was inspecting an adjacent property.


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