The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : Animal Cruelty The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : Animal Cruelty
Showing posts with label Animal Cruelty. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Animal Cruelty. Show all posts

Thursday, September 24, 2020

'Dreadhead Cowboy' Charged with Animal Cruelty After Riding Horse on Highway in Protest

CHICAGO (WGN) -- The Cook County State’s Attorneys Office charged Adam Hollingsworth, a 33-year-old Chicago man known as the “Dreadhead Cowboy,” with aggravated animal cruelty, a felony.

Adam Hollingsworth rode his 7-year-old horse, "NuNu," while livestreaming on Facebook for about 30 minutes Monday on the Dan Ryan Expressway, tying up traffic at 4:30 p.m. in the afternoon with a motorcycle escort, all in an effort to bring attention to the recent rash of young children being killed or injured by gun violence.

To read more on this story, click here: 'Dreadhead Cowboy' Charged with Animal Cruelty After Riding Horse on Highway in Protest


Friday, August 14, 2020

Humane Rescue Alliance – Seeking Any Information Leading to The Arrest of Person(s) for This Horrific Act of Animal Cruelty - Please Share!

Content warning: sexual assault

Washington, DC - This week, the Humane Rescue Alliance, along with Friendship Hospital for Animals, rescued a puppy from deplorable sexual abuse and violence.

A few days ago, we received a call about a dog abandoned outside, next to piles of trash, and unable to walk, just like Ladybell not even one month ago. When our Animal Control officer arrived on scene, he found a 7-month-old brindle pit bull-type puppy wagging her tail as he approached. She couldn’t move and was covered in both scars and fresh wounds but was still excited to see him. We named her Luna.

She was quickly transported to our partner Friendship Hospital for Animals where she received a full examination. Veterinarians at FHA determined Luna had five broken vertebrae, two of which required surgical stabilization, and two wounds, possibly stab wounds, on her chest. Other injuries indicate she had been brutally sexually abused and was likely strangled. Veterinarians were able to determine these injuries occurred over weeks, due to the varying stages of healing of each injury.

We estimate the cost of her critical care will exceed $20,000. Friendship Hospital for Animals has stepped up to cover the entire cost of her surgeries, and is working to stabilize her spine, with the hopes that one day Luna will be able to walk again. Despite the extent of her injuries, veterinarians are optimistic that Luna will have a good quality of life. We are so grateful for their incredible generosity and their shared commitment to saving animal lives.

“The person responsible for torturing Luna has certainly demonstrated their propensity for extreme violence,” said Chris Schindler, vice president of field services at the Humane Rescue Alliance. “Study after study has shown that individuals who commit cruelty to animals, particularly sexual abuse crimes, are known to perpetrate these crimes against humans, especially children. To ensure the safety of the entire community, we will do everything in our power to find who is responsible and are asking for the public’s help to do so.”

As Luna begins to heal, our humane law enforcement officers begin their investigation into the person or persons responsible for this heinous act of sexual assault and cruelty. They are looking for anyone who may have noticed anything unusual near Fort Dupont Park on or before August 11. If you have any information that could help assist in the arrest of those who abused Luna, please call 202-723-5730 option 3.


Wednesday, February 19, 2020

A Cat Shot Through The Head With An Arrow Is Recovering After Surgery. His Rescuers Named Him Cupid

(CNN)An orange tabby cat got a new lease on life and a name to go with it after veterinarians removed an arrow that someone had shot through his head.

Cupid, as the cat is now named, is on the road to recovery after a surgery at the Animal Welfare League of Arlington in Virginia last weekend.
"We believe the arrow may have been there for up to a week," spokeswoman Chelsea Jones told CNN. She said the arrow had gone through the cat's head and lodged in his shoulder.

To read more on this story, click here: A Cat Shot Through The Head With An Arrow Is Recovering After Surgery. His Rescuers Named Him Cupid


Sunday, August 18, 2019

Dog Dies From Starvation At Training Facility

This post contains graphic content and pictures that may be upsetting to some. Viewer discretion is advised.

Dallas, an 9-month-old miniature bull terrier, was brought to Off-Leash K9 Training facility to be potty trained and learn basic obedience. His owners thought they were leaving their beloved dog in the care of professionals and never imagined any harm would come to him. Instead of being treated like a family member, Dallas was deprived of food and starved to death.

Dallas spent five weeks at Off-Leash K9 Training in Johnson City, Tennessee. During that time the family said they were told they couldn’t visit because it would disrupt the training. Originally, Dallas was scheduled for two weeks of training, but the owners said the trainer told them he needed more time for housebreaking.

To read more on this story, click here: Dog Dies From Starvation At Training Facility


Thursday, May 30, 2019

Woman Imprisoned Dog and Cat in Storage Unit

Unfortunately, there have been many cases in which animals have been kept in terrible conditions by humans. Cala, a pit bull mix was kept on a leash so short, she choked whenever she sat down. Liam, was abused, neglected, and kept on a chain for years. Another beautiful dog was kept chained to a wall for 15 years and was never even given a name. A dog and cat in Calgary, Canada were discovered in a storage unit where they were being kept by their owner.

To read more on this story, click here: Woman Imprisoned Dog and Cat in Storage Unit


Friday, October 5, 2018

In Texas, A Woman Just Shot Her Husband For Beating The Family Cat

Over the weekend, Dallas Police found itself dealing with one of its stranger cases in recent memory, when a 47-year-old woman fatally shot her husband in defense of the family cat.

The scene unfolded on Saturday morning, but confessed-shooter-and-sole-survivor, Mary Harrison, says that incident stems from her deceased husband’s repeated abuse of a beloved family pet. The victim, Dexter Harrison, allegedly beat the poor animal repeatedly, so much so that it finally ran away.

Worried sick, Mary plastered their Dallas neighborhood with “missing pet” pictures, and a well-meaning neighbor ultimately located the animal. Unfortunately, Dexter resumed his abuse as soon as the cat was returned home, which led his frustrated wife to finally shoot him in an effort to stop the abuse. Nor is this the first cat-related shooting that’s happened in Texas. In 2013, a different woman shot her husband for threatening to throw her cat over the fence.

To read more on this story, click here: In Texas, A Woman Just Shot Her Husband For Beating The Family Cat


Monday, July 9, 2018

The Former Laguna Beach and The Hills Star, Kristin Cavallari Has Irked Vegans and Animal Rights Activists

Kristin Cavallari’s not likely to win over the vegan community anytime soon.

The former Laguna Beach and The Hills star irked vegans and animal rights activists in May when she posted a photo of herself clutching her pet chicken, joking that her feathered friend was a “pet today, dinner tomorrow.”

Several commenters slammed Cavallari’s suggestion that she might eat the chicken, accusing her of practicing “animal cruelty” and having a “lack of empathy and compassion for other beings.”

Now, the reality star, whose new show, Very Cavallari, premiered Sunday night — is once again ruffling feathers by teasing vegans in a new Instagram post. The 31-year-old mom of three is pictured on her farm with a rather restless-looking goat in her arms.

“The vegans will say she’s trying to get away because of my chicken comment,” she joked in the photo’s caption, adding a laughing emoji.

Vegans, however, weren’t laughing.

“Wow, girl, you think that chicken comment of yours was funny?” fired back one commenter. “Please do some research on veganism and maybe you’ll understand why we don’t take your ‘animal jokes’ lightly.”

“The issue with this post is the flippant, arrogant, uneducated, ignorant, non-compassionate connotation behind the caption, a notion to make ‘fun’ of not only a VERY LARGE group of people — but to also make light of all the horrors that go into the meat industry,” another commenter explained. “It’s sickening. It’s so sad really.”

“I can’t believe how ignorant someone can be in 2018,” one critic wrote. “I thought she’d changed some since The Hills but she’s still totally vapid and rude. Vegans make up more of the population than she obviously knows about! It’s like making a joke about Muslims not eating pork or Jews not eating shellfish. Sorry, some people care about other living things not dying for your enjoyment. I’m unfollowing!”

“Wow, I totally looked up to you growing up and as a vegan this hurts,” a fan added. 

“What an uneducated, ignorant, and heartless thing to joke about,” another critic replied. “One day you’ll make the connection and realize how disgusting comments like this are — whether it’s in this life or the next.”

Other Cavallari fans thought the backlash was unwarranted.

“I personally thought the chicken statement was hilarious; it’s natural as we are carnivores,” read one comment. “Stop trying to change people and concentrate on yourselves and your own decisions. We don’t have to be over the top and preach everything we do, which is unfortunately the way a lot of people in society live these days. I’m a meat eater and couldn’t care less how much of the population eat meat, etc., and don’t force vegans to change their life choices, I think you all need to calm yourselves down and just live your life!”

“Meat. It goes a body good,” cracked another fan.

“I’m a vegan and I find this and the chicken post hilarious,” a supporter added. “Calm down, people. Trolling on Instagram only makes you look like a stereotype and ridiculous.”

Will the uproar cause Cavallari to lay off the vegan jokes? Or are people taking her captions far too seriously?


Saturday, March 24, 2018

Little Old Lady Arrested for Making Fur Coats with Neighbor’s Cats

Waco | An 85-year-old Texas woman has been arrested by local law enforcement after being caught on film kidnapping one of her neighbor’s cats with which she is accused of making fur coats.

The recent disappearance of domestic animals in the neighborhood started to arise suspicion from local residents when some people started to notice the old lady’s particular fur coats, some even recognizing their cats in the coat’s furs, a fact the lady vehemently denied before being caught on videotape by a private detective hired by local residents to follow the suspicious lady.

To read more on this story, click here: Little Old Lady Arrested for Making Fur Coats with Neighbor’s Cats


Sunday, March 18, 2018

Starving Horses Ate Aluminum Siding Off House, Sheriff Says as Crews Clean Up Bodies in Maryland

QUANTICO, Md. — With a brisk wind blowing under gray skies, Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis stood in front of a farm trying to describe what he had just seen behind the house. 

"The siding — aluminum siding — was eaten off the house, and fiberglass insulation had been pulled out," said a visibly shaken Lewis on Saturday. "Those horses were so hungry, they had broken the glass sliding doors on the back of the house, trying to get in and find something to eat. There's mud and broken glass all around the back of the house."

More than two dozen dead horses in varying degrees of decay were discovered at the farm and reported to the sheriff's office Friday morning, which is when an investigation at the 2.13-acre property began. The land is owned by Clayton P. and Barbara L. Pilchard, according to Maryland property records.

Marjie Cancil, who lives near the farm, drove past Saturday afternoon and stopped to see what was happening.

To read more on this story, click here: Starving Horses Ate Aluminum Siding Off House, Sheriff Says as Crews Clean Up Bodies in Maryland


Saturday, February 17, 2018

Fontana Man Arrested for Badly Abusing Kitten, Police Say

FONTANA, Calif. (FOX 11) - Fontana police arrested a man for allegedly trying to kill a kitten -- several times. Despite the horrendous abuse reported, the kitten named "Olive" lived.

Lucio Cota Lopez, 34, was arrested Tuesday for the alleged assault of a 3 to 4-month-old stray kitten. An investigation revealed Lopez was upset with the kitten for entering the apartment.

Witnesses reported Lopez allegedly placed the kitten in the freezer, and later took the kitten out and began squeezing its body as the frightened kitten cried out in pain.

To read more on this story, click here: Fontana Man Arrested for Badly Abusing Kitten, Police Say


Saturday, December 2, 2017

Chris Schindler Named Vice President of Field Services at Humane Rescue Alliance

One of the nation’s leading experts on animal cruelty and dog fighting joins Washington, DC’s animal welfare organization

WASHINGTON, DC – Humane Rescue Alliance President and CEO Lisa LaFontaine announced today that she has named Chris Schindler to the position of Vice President of Field Services for the organization.  Schindler brings more than 20 years of animal welfare experience, specifically expertise in the areas of animal cruelty and dog fighting. Schindler will oversee HRA’s Humane Law Enforcement and Animal Control divisions.   He begins his duties today.

“Chris Schindler is one of the nation’s leading experts on animal crimes, dog fighting and emergency response and we’re proud that he will be leading HRA’s field services division,” said LaFontaine.  “Chris’s skill set and experience are a perfect match this role and his vast national and international network in this field will be invaluable as HRA continues to grow.”

Schindler comes to HRA from the Humane Society of the United States where he served as the Director of Animal Cruelty and Fighting for HSUS and Humane Society International.  In 10 years at HSUS, he led their efforts against animal fighting, resulting in the nation’s most significant takedowns of those engaged in this horrific activity. His work made it possible for thousands of animals to be rescued and the most heinous of perpetrators to be prosecuted. Chris has also overseen the HSUS national investigations on animal cruelty, puppy mills and equine animal cruelty as well as led the field responses on major disaster response throughout the country.

Schindler is a native of the Washington, DC region and he spent three years as a senior law enforcement officer and field supervisor for the Washington Humane Society from 2004 to 2007.

“I am thrilled to join HRA, the organization that inspired me to work in this field” said Schindler.  “I’m looking forward to continuing the outstanding work this team does every day in law enforcement, animal care and control, and urban wildlife management.”

During his tenure at HSUS, Schindler worked on strategic national and international animal cruelty investigations, compiled intelligence and maintained a comprehensive database on known or suspected animal fighters, which was instrumental in helping law enforcement and prosecutors make their cases in court. Schindler has also consulted with and educated local law enforcement agencies on the signs and substance of animal cruelty and fighting operations.  He has worked extensively with the FBI and other federal law enforcement agents on cross-state cruelty, abuse and neglect cases.

Schindler and his wife Amy return to the DC area with their six dogs.  They have a special affinity for senior dogs, as three of their canines are 16 years old and older.

About the Humane Rescue Alliance:
The Humane Rescue Alliance has protected and served the animals of the community for more than 145 years and serves more than 60,000 animals annually. The broad range of programs offered include: rescue and adoption, humane law enforcement, low-cost veterinary services, animal care and control, behavior and training, spay-neuter services, humane education, and many others. The organization is dedicated to ensuring the safety and welfare of all animals, bringing people and animals together, and working with all communities to support these relationships. HRA is based in Washington, DC, the only major urban area in the country that has all of its animal protection programs and services unified in one organization, making the Humane Rescue Alliance a model for the nation. FOLLOW US!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Florida Officials: Worst Case of Animal Cruelty - More Than 50 Animals Found Tied to Trees as Irma Approaches

West Palm Beach, Florida  -- Officials are calling it animal cruelty like they've never seen before.

As Hurricane Irma’s outer bands inch closer to Florida, animal control officers said they are hustling to rescue abandoned animals.

And these aren't pets who are just being left inside, Director of Animal Care Diane Suave said.

“They are left in a yard, in a pen they cannot escape from or tethered to trees or poles,” she said.

Palm Beach County Animal Care reports animal control officers have rescued 49 dogs and two cats in the last 48 hours.

“Even a tiny bit of sand can hurt an animal when it’s traveling through 100-plus mph winds,” Sauve said.

Animal control officers were slowly pulled off the road at 2:30 p.m. Saturday.

Sauve said once winds reach a sustained 35 mph, no officers will be permitted to rescue animals.

“We are asking the public, if it is safe, consider sheltering any animals you see left outside,” she said.

Both Sauve and State Attorney Dave Aronberg said they promise to prosecute anyone who left their animals outside to fend for themselves during Hurricane Irma.

“This is a prime example of animal cruelty,” Aronberg said. “We will find you, and we will prosecute you.”

Sauve said officials will use every paper trail imaginable to track down animal cruelty offenders.

“It’s unconscionable,” she said. “We will not stand for it here in Palm Beach County.”


Thursday, April 20, 2017

Washington, DC – Humane Rescue Alliance Offering $5,000 Reward for Information Leading to Arrest/Conviction of Person(s) for Act of Animal Cruelty

On the evening of April 18, 2017 the Humane Rescue Alliance responded to the 3200 Block of 28th St. SE regarding a domestic short haired cat which someone had attempted to light on fire while confined in a trap. The incident reportedly happened in that area between 8 PM and Midnight.

The Humane Rescue Alliance desperately needs the help of the community for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for this horrific act of animal cruelty. The Humane Rescue Alliance is offering a $5,000.00 reward that will be given to any person who provides such information.

If you have any information about this case, please contact the
Humane Rescue Alliance’s Humane Law Enforcement Department:
Officer Russell

Information will be kept confidential upon request.

The Humane Rescue Alliance protects animals, supports families, and advocates for positive change to create a world where all animals can thrive. We enrich the humanity of our communities by promoting compassion and encouraging people to find joy, comfort and companionship through the love and appreciation of animals.


Tuesday, March 28, 2017

William Dodson, The Man Who Taped a Dog’s Muzzle in 2015, Will Spend 15 Years Behind Bars

By now, you’ve likely heard about Caitlyn, the dog whose muzzle was taped so tightly that she risked losing her tongue and suffering permanent damage to her nasal passage.  She’s absolutely thriving now, and her abuser was sentenced to five years in prison for what he did to her, to be served concurrently with a 15-year sentence for other crimes.The 15-month-old chocolate pit bull mix was found in June 2015 on the porch of a South Carolina resident who called 911 after seeing what horrible shape she was in.

She was taken to the Charleston Animal Society, who got her immediate medical attention.  The blood flow had been completely cut off from her tongue, making the situation quite delicate.  When the tape was removed, Caitlyn screamed in excruciating pain.“It was 36 hours of torment,” CAS spokesman Alwin Roman told the court.

Caitlyn’s former owner, William Dodson said he taped her snout shut because she wouldn’t stop barking.  He was charged with felony ill treatment of an animal, and was indicted in February 2016.  He will serve 5 years for what he did to Caitlyn, but it will be served concurrently with a 15-year sentence he received for a federal drug and weapon conviction.Dodson made no apologies for what he did, and Judge R. Markley Dennis Jr. told the abuser that he wished the sentence could be longer.Meanwhile, Caitlyn is doing wonderfully in her loving new home.  She has fans all over the world and is an ambassador for animal welfare.

To learn more about this case, please read the following posts:

$1,000 Reward for Information Leading to the Arrest/Conviction of the Person(s) Responsible for Taping a Dog's Muzzle Together with Electrical Tape

William Leonard Dodson Has Been Arrested in the Animal Cruelty Case of Caitlyn the Dog That Was Found with Electrical Tape Tightly Wound Around Her Muzzle

Caitlyn, The Dog Found with Her Muzzle Taped Shut is Making a Remarkable Recovery

Caitlyn the Dog Who Suffered Grotesque Injuries After Her Snout Was Taped Shut with Electrical Tape is on the Mend

Caitlyn, The Pit Bull Who Was Found with Her Muzzle Taped Shut Will Be in Shirtless Firefighters Calendar

Do You Remember the Story of Caitlyn? The Dog Who Had Her Muzzle Taped Shut: Take a Look at Her Now


Saturday, February 25, 2017

Brooklyn Woman Convicted of Hoarding Rabbits Could Actually Be Too Crazy for Jail

The Brooklyn woman convicted of hoarding rabbits could actually be crazy enough to avoid jail.

Obsessed animal lover Dorota Trec underwent a court-ordered psychiatric exam Wednesday – two months after she was found guilty of abusing 100 rabbits that lived outside her Gowanus home in a trial at which she acted as her own lawyer.

The official results will be released later in February, but Trec, who faces up to two years behind bars, hinted that she won’t be doing hard time.

“I think this is leading to not putting me in prison,” Trec, 36, said outside the Brooklyn Supreme courtroom.

She believes she’ll instead be ordered to “come for treatment [by] a psychologist.”

Trec, who was charged with mistreating 125 of the furballs, represented herself during the wacky three-week jury trial.

The Polish-born bunny breeder said the person who evaluated her “was very surprised I did the case myself and that the same person who goes for an evaluation is allowed to do [a] trial.”

Earlier this month, Judge Curtis Farber said he was worried about “serious mental health issues” and ordered Trec to undergo the psych exam before he handed down his sentence.

“I am trying very hard to think of an appropriate sentence in your case,” he told her at the Jan. 13 hearing.

“I am not sick,” Trec shouted to the judge. “I am a very intelligent person.”

In December, the ASPCA came to seize 45 bunnies of the 90 Trec had from her yard. She claims she’s been trying to give the remaining furry creatures away ever since.

“I am always going to have animals around. Who can stop me? They will have to put me in jail,” Trec said Wednesday. “If [Judge Farber] puts me in prison, I will continue to work on plans” to build a bunny sanctuary.


Some People Remove Their Cats’ Claws: One State May Soon Call That Animal Cruelty

In 1952, the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association published a letter to the editor from a Chicago veterinarian named A.G. Misener, who described a surgery his practice had been performing on cats: the removal of their front claws.

“This is a relatively simple surgical procedure,” Misener wrote, “and, we believe, a practical measure.”

That letter was the genesis of what Minnesota veterinarian Ron Gaskin, who considers himself a historian of cat declawing, calls a “Chicago urban legend” — a surgery that was dreamed up in one clinic and ended up being adopted by practitioners across the United States.

“It was never investigated for long-term safety, or whether it generated pain later on in life,” Gaskin said of declawing’s origins. “It was never researched that way.”

To read more on this story, click here: Some People Remove Their Cats Claws One State May Soon Call That Animal Cruelty


Rabbit Hoarder, Dorota Trec Gets 45 Days in Jail for Animal Cruelty

Dorota Trec was sentenced Friday in Brooklyn Criminal Court after she was convicted in November of abusing some 100 rabbits she kept in a squalid yard in the Gowanus section.

She had faced up to two years incarceration.

Judge Curtis Farber told Trec that she can’t keep any pets for five years and must undergo psychiatric treatment.

If she violates those terms, she faces a year behind bars.

She also has to pay the ASPCA more than $20,000 for veterinary treatment for the bunnies.


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Washington, DC - $2,000 Reward for Information on the Person(s) Responsible for Leaving a Senior Female Yorkie-Type Dog in a Trashcan in an Alley of the 4200 block of Mead Street and Lane Place NE - Humane Rescue Alliance

The Humane Rescue Alliance needs your help! If you have any information about the person or persons responsible for leaving a senior female Yorkie-type dog in a trashcan in an alley of the 4200 block of Mead Street and Lane Place NE on October 20, please contact our Humane Law Enforcement Department at 202-723-5730 (ext. 132).

We are offering at $2,000 reward to any person who provides information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for this horrific act of animal cruelty.

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Sunday, October 16, 2016

Cat Who Was Found Shot in the Back and Dragging Herself Through the Park Needs Help with Her Recovery

Calera, Alabama  - When people welcome a companion animal into their lives, they usually have so much compassion and affection in their heart, that they want to share it with another being. They will go to the shelter and pick out a pup or kitty to pour all of that love into. Alternatively, there are some people out there who treat animals as a way to release their aggression, and sadly, homeless animals with no guardian to protect them, tend to be the target of this anger. We’ve heard stories where stray animals are abused by people living in the area who are simply annoyed by their presence. We’ve heard of stray animals getting run over by cars and no one bothering to stop and see if they’re okay. And, sadly, we’ve seen dogs get picked up off the street and turn into bait or aggressive opponents for dogfighting circles.

Just recently, the residents of a mobile home park in Calera, found a cat who had been shot in the back and was dragging herself through the park. At the time they found her, the bullet was still lodged in her spine. The fact that this little kitty was pulling herself around the park, likely looking for food or help, shows that this cat had a clear will to live. The folks who found her immediately called The Purrfect Love Cat Rescue. The kitten, now named Jackie, seems to be permanently paralyzed and the employees at the center are skeptical as to whether she will ever be able to walk, control her bowels, or her bladder. According to the veterinarian on board, it appeared someone put the gun up against her back, then fired, almost certainly intentionally.

Why anyone would harm such a precious creature is beyond us. This kitty’s only crime was existing in the same space as a cruel human.

Sadly, Jackie is too weak to undergo any surgery, so all that’s left to do is hope that this sweet kitten can somehow pull through the ordeal.

Despite the fact that Jackie cannot undergo surgery, the rescue center employees are determined to do all they can for her and hopefully find the horrible individual who did this to her. They have set up a Facebook page and hope to get donations for what will likely be a very costly recovery program for Jackie. If you’re touched by this story and would like to donate to the cause, click HERE.

Please donate if you can. Remember no amount is too small. Thanking you from Jackie and The Pet Tree House

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Thursday, October 13, 2016

Daniel Kopulos, a Wildlife Conservationist Who Owned an Exotic Pet Shop: Charged with Animal Cruelty

Nausea struck Corrie Butler as soon as she stepped inside the white clapboard home in Weston, Conn.

The stench — a stomach-churning fusion of feces and putrefying flesh, baked in months of summer heat — was unlike anything the experienced animal rescuer had ever encountered. It overwhelmed her, even though she was in a hazmat suit, with her face hidden behind a respirator mask.

If the smell was revolting, the horrifying scene inside the dilapidated house was even worse: Hundreds of snakes and exotic birds — some of them dead — were packed inside the cluttered, darkened rooms, according to Butler, a facility manager at Rhode Island Parrot Rescue.

Some of the animals were trapped in stacks of bug-infested cages and aquariums; others were hidden beneath rotting piles of trash, cobwebs and debris. In some areas of the house, the floor was carpeted with several inches of urine-soaked refuse, birdseed and desiccated animal remains.

Wherever rescuers turned, it seemed, more suffering awaited.

In one room, a toucan beak was found among the debris. In another, a pillowcase full of snakes was discovered in a drawer, where rescuers estimated it had been for months.

Somehow, those snakes — and close to 50 other serpents — were still alive, though barely. But the 1,500-square-foot house contained more than 100 dead reptiles, many of them stuffed in bags and left to die.

The brightly colored birds — lories, rare macaws, a laughing kookaburra, cockatoos, parrots and parakeets — had fared no better. Inside cages caked in filth, emaciated creatures had turned to self-mutilation and begun plucking their vibrant plumage. Rescuers found others sitting in piles of excrement more than a foot high, often beside the decomposing carcasses of their cage mates.

Deprived of water, unable to bathe and covered in so much urine their feathers had begun to fall out, some birds looked “melted,” one rescuer said. Instead of chirping or imitating human voices, the birds were eerily silent.

“It was terrible, like something from a horror movie,” Butler said.

What made it even more disturbing was the identity of the home’s owner: Daniel Kopulos, a wildlife conservationist who owned an exotic pet shop in Manhattan.

Kopulos does not have a history of harming animals, investigators say. In fact, he was widely admired as a force for good — a dedicated advocate for endangered birds and other threatened species.

But rescuers said it was the worst case of animal hoarding they’ve ever known — a case so unsettling that many are struggling to move past what they saw. Butler, for one, said she has had trouble sleeping since the rescue operation at what the local newspaper dubbed the “Weston House of Horrors.”

Kopulos was formally charged with animal cruelty Tuesday after surrendering to the authorities, according to the Weston Forum. Weston Police Sgt. Patrick Daubert described Kopulos as “very cooperative.”

Kopulos is scheduled to appear in Norwalk Superior Court on Oct. 24. If convicted, he faces a $1,000 fine and up to a year in prison, the Forum reported.

Kopulos could did not immediately respond to a request for comment after he was charged.

He declined repeated attempts to be interviewed by The Washington Post in the weeks prior to his surrender, but said in brief emails that the case “has destroyed my life, my reputation, and is spilling over to my employees and others that are close to me.” People close to him are being harassed by “animal welfare people,” he wrote, adding that he worried about the “devastating effects” a story about him might have on his conservation work.

“There is obviously another side to the story,” he wrote last month, without elaborating.

“Behind the reported story is a real person whose life is being destroyed,” he added.

[In Indiana hoarder couple’s home, police find a ‘neglected child’ — and 111 cats]

Police were called to the home on Sept. 15 for an “odor investigation.” Responding officers were so overwhelmed by the noxious air that they had to retreat before calling the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

“You could compare the smell to a dead body,” Daubert, the police sergeant, told The Post. “To enter the home, you had to have a respirator.”

Firefighters, health officials, hazardous materials workers, veterinarians and authorities from the state Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security were eventually called to assist.

Over the course of 12 grueling hours, Butler and other rescuers removed about 220 non-venomous reptiles and birds worth more than $100,000 from the two-bedroom home and a barnlike building on the 3.3-acre property.

There were so many animals, rescuers said, that they had to be transported to facilities in a 34-foot horse trailer.

Police said the 41-year-old Kopulos — who purchased the property in 2009 — was living at the residence, without running water, when the grisly discovery was made. The day authorities arrived, Kopulos told them he planned to spend the night in the house; but he was not allowed inside, and the property is now condemned, authorities say.

Kopulos was perhaps best known as the owner of Fauna, an exotic pet store on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Through the store, he became known as a force for good; in 2011, the New York Times noted that “Fauna’s mission is education and conservation. Impulse buyers beware: Mr. Kopulos will sell you a bird only if he approves of you. A mandatory veterinary check-up is built into the price. Not that the birds are ailing: it’s further education for owners.”

The paper referred to Kopulos as “the soft-spoken bird whisperer,” and he even appeared on NBC’s “Today” show.

“We are very picky about who gets animals from here,” he told the Epoch Times in 2013. “We spend a lot of time speaking to them, we try to meet the entire family.”

“I find it more effective to talk to the child then the parents,” he added. “It’s a long-term commitment. We don’t have anything here that lives less than 10-12 years.”

The New York Times reported that Fauna had 700 animals in the store at any given time, and there were another 400 “in various stages of being bred, hatched or hand-raised” at Kopulos’s home and aviary in Weston. Among that population, the paper reported, were endangered species that Kopulos bred for conservation and not commercial purposes.

Presumably, rescuers said, these were some of the same animals that were found dead and dying at his home earlier this month.

Fauna’s Manhattan location has closed. The store was thought to be moving to Yonkers, but calls to the number listed on the Fauna website were not answered, and voice-mail messages were not returned. The store’s social media accounts have also disappeared.

The cruelty allegations against Kopulos have shocked the conservation community and those who have worked with him.

Photographer Kathryn Elsesser traveled to Guatemala with Kopulos for several weeks in 2012 to document his efforts to teach local veterinarians about macaw husbandry and chick rearing. His goal, she said, was to start a nonprofit organization to aid scarlet macaw conservation.

Kopulos seemed to care deeply about the birds, Elsesser said. Even minor details — the type of plastic used in the animals’ feeders, the best way to mix their food — merited grave concern, she recalled.

“He was very gentle, and he was an amazing teacher,” she said. “He was so knowledgeable. He gave off the impression of being someone who was a trained veterinarian. You could tell this was a passion of his.”

He never displayed any behavior, she said, that could have hinted at a penchant for hurting animals.

“Not at all,” she said. “That was not the Daniel that I knew.”

The reasons people begin hoarding wildlife vary, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Researchers have linked the practice to obsessive compulsive disorder in the past, but newer theories suggest depression, paranoia and “attachment disorders in conjunction with personality disorders” can play a role.

“Some animal hoarders began collecting after a traumatic event or loss, while others see themselves as ‘rescuers’ who save animals from lives on the street,” the ASPCA reports.

Hoarders come from many backgrounds, in many ages, according to the ASPCA, but they often share one thing in common: “A failure to grasp the severity of their situation.”

They also fail to recognize the suffering animals are experiencing in their care, the ASPCA says: “Research shows many hoarders are beginning to set themselves up as ‘rescue shelters,’ complete with non-profit status. They may appear to be sensible people, persuasively conveying their love for animals and readiness to take those who are sick and with special needs.”

[Animal hoarding isn’t just gross, it’s a recognized psychiatric disorder]

Valerie Ashley, the director of Rhode Island Parrot Rescue, said it’s hard to understand how a wildlife lover could relegate “some of the most beautiful birds on the planet” to filthy chicken-wire cages and bug-infested breeder boxes. Given the animals’ intelligence and their need for stimulation, Ashley compared the treatment to putting a special-needs child in solitary confinement — for months.

“How can a human being live in a house with animals dying around them?” she asked. “Maybe he’s a monster or maybe he was dealing with depression. … But I know people who even at their worst can still say, ‘Please take care of my animal or my child because I can’t do it.’

“Instead, he just walked away and let them starve,” she said.

Five of the birds, out of a total of 118 rescued by Rhode Island Parrot Rescue, have since died — and it will take months to nurse the others back to mental and physical health, Ashley said. Even more animals were removed from the property by other New England rescue groups.

In the media, Kopulos portrayed himself as an environmentally conscious business owner with a lifelong love of wildlife. He told the Epoch Times that he was raised on a farm in Nashville, where he began caring for injured raccoons and squirrels at any early age. He said he got his first bird when he was 11 and began breeding them a year later.

“Every since I was little, I always knew I was innately drawn to animals,” he told the newspaper. “Birds are so intelligent and emotionally driven. They’re very connected, when a bird chooses you that’s a very special thing.”

Kopulos told the New York Times that when he was 12, he rescued a macaw named Patches from a Tennessee pet store. More than three decades later, the same bird could be found at Fauna, riding on the shoulders of employees “like a feathered hood ornament.”

Rescuers said they do not know what happened to Patches or whether he’s among the massive flock of rescued animals whose names they don’t know.

Ashley said the belief that Kopulos’s home was a rescue shelter led many people to hand their pets over to him when they could no longer care for their animals.

Now, she said, those same people are calling her to find out whether their former pets are dead.

On his Facebook page, Kopulos has railed against animal mistreatment in recent months. In July, he posted an article about teenagers suspected of beating porcupines to death in New York.

“Since when is animal cruelty not animal cruelty?” he wrote. “‘Nuisance’ species or not, it’s animal cruelty!”

“People are a nuisance,” he added, “but you don’t see me running around beating people to death.”

Rescuers said these lories had nails so long, the birds were unable to walk. (Rhode Island Parrot Rescue)

                                  Daniel Kopulos’s home in Weston.

               Daniel Kopulos feeds two Persian Turacos at his exotic pet store.