Police Find 60 Animals Inside Shooter's Home - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

Police Find 60 Animals Inside Shooter's Home

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By: Claire Powell


After Wednesday night's shooting near Lincoln High School, Des Moines Police went back to investigate Steven Vogel's home and were surprised at what they found.

Fifty-five exotic birds, one python and two cats were found inside the house. Two of the birds were in cages were deceased.

Police and animal control quickly worked as a team to get all of the animals out.

"We removed the animals as quickly as we could from the home so we they could continue the investigation," said Sergeant James Butler, Des Moines Police Department.

 All of the animals are now at Animal Rescue League of Iowa.

"They all seem to be healthy at this point. It just happened yesterday, so we're taking our time and assessing everybody," said Josh Colvin with the ARL.

A main room at the shelter has been transformed into a temporary home. The ARL can control the temperature, keeping it at a warm 80 degrees for the birds to be comfortable.

All of the workers and visitors wear masks inside as a precaution until all of the birds can be tested.  

"They're getting settled in, getting more calm with their new environment," said Tom Colvin, Executive Director at the ARL.

The problem is the ARL is already overcrowded and the fees to feed and care for the animals will be hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars.

"It is stressful for the shelter. Anytime that we have a large amount of animals that are beyond what we can take care of, it is a stress. It is a burden, but it's what we do," said Colvin.

The ARL is contacting family to see if they want to claim any of the animals. If not, the ARL said they would more than likely put the animals up for adoption.

The ARL said they are being flooded with calls and emails asking about the animals, so to get more information on adoption availability and to make donations visit, www.arl-iowa.org/birds .

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