By Kim Palmer
CLEVELAND, Ohio (Reuters) - Humane society members wearing protective masks removed nearly 300 animals including pigeons, chickens and rabbits from an Ohio man's reeking house this week.
Most of the animals are expected to survive including some that were sick, Sheila Marquis, an officer with the Humane Society of Greater Dayton, Ohio, told Reuters on Saturday.
Workers on Thursday took away 60 pigeons, chickens and roosters from the house in Huber Heights, a suburb of Dayton. They returned the following day for another 93 animals including 30 rabbits living outside.
Between 100 and 150 more pigeons, housed outside of the home, have not been removed. Jessica Garringer, spokeswoman for the Humane Society of Greater Cleveland, told Reuters they are working with the owner to relocate all of the remaining birds.
The sheer number of pigeons, which can carry airborne diseases, created a health hazard inside the house, Marquis said.
Authorities were tipped off by complaints about a stench coming from the property.
The animals' owner, who has not been identified, was very cooperative and knowledgeable about the birds, which included homing pigeons, Marquis said.
She said she thinks he just got overwhelmed taking care of so many animals.
"He told us he took some animals from other people and other pigeon organizations. That's how the cycle happens. He kept getting more birds and building more cages," Marquis said.
The man will be allowed to keep two dogs and some cats living in the house.
There was no word on whether he will be charged with animal neglect or abuse, a misdemeanor for the first offense in Ohio. Huber Heights has a ban on farm animals but does not limit the number of pets residents can own.
(Reporting by Edith Honan; Editing by Xavier Briand)
(This story corrects the number of animals in paragraphs 3, 4)