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Between 1,000 and 3,000 animals — alive and dead, ranging from exotic fish to parrots and snakes — were seized Friday from a Montclair warehouse that was covered in feces and filled with trash, according to the Inland Valley Humane Society in Pomona.

“I can’t imagine what it’s going to take to make this (presentable) again,” said James Edward, of the Humane Society.

Peggy King, who owns Hometown Electric in the business park at 4650 East Arrow Highway about a block from the Montclair Police Department, said she’s heard birds in the warehouse and last week she saw a delivery of crates of baby chicks.

“We started hearing more animals inside,” she said.

Montclair police, code enforcement and the Humane Society were involved in the ongoing animal-abuse investigation.

A notice to vacate was posted on the door of the warehouse.

Police activity began earlier this week, King said.

The suspect, a man in his 50s, was arrested Wednesday for a warrant in an unrelated case out of Los Angeles County, said Montclair police Sgt. John Minook. Booking records show the warrant was for making criminal threats.

Business owners and Humane Society authorities identify the owner as Gregory Bowman, 52.

When he was arrested, the Humane Society was asked to take possession of Bowman’s two dogs, Edward said. The group is typically called to take in people’s pets if there is no one else who can care for the animals.

The Humane Society and police arrived and found evidence of other animals, including what Minook described as a strong odor of decay.

But because the owner was jailed, they couldn’t enter the property.

The group returned Thursday — this time with a warrant — and began removing the animals. The effort continued Friday.

Once inside, Minook said, police and the Humane Society found boxes and debris “piled to the ceiling” and “literally thousands of chickens and exotic birds loose.”

As they further examined the inside of the space, they found fish and reptiles — many had perished.

“The snakes were just left inside their boxes and they were dead,” Edward said.

There was very little ventilation in the warehouse and rescue officers could find no food or water for the birds, according to a Humane Society news release.

The birds are being evaluated and cared for by the Humane Society and the Boys Republic in Chino, the Humane Society said. They are part of the ongoing investigation, so their adoption availability is pending.


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On Friday, it wasn’t clear whether the owner was selling the animals. There was no nameplate over the warehouse that he was renting.

Montclair Councilman Bill Ruh said the news broke his heart.

“Such inhumanity,” he said,” is beyond belief.”



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