It took firefighters equipped with hazardous-materials gear to get 26 animals out of a house because of the intense waste odor police ran into while enforcing an eviction order, officials said.
Police said they had worried they might find two mistreated elderly people inside the single-story house on Lake Glen Drive from which they were evicting a 50-year-old woman on Monday afternoon, but those people were away.
Inside the house, where police said there was no furniture, were 14 dogs, eight cats, two rabbits and two ferrets.
Officers who went into the house were forced back by the intense smell of animal waste, and they called Fuquay-Varina firefighters and a hazardous-materials unit from the Raleigh Fire Department, town spokeswoman Susan Weis said.
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Wake County Animal Control officers took the animals once they were outdoors, and they were being evaluated, Weis said.
One of the dogs appeared to be hurt, she said.
The tenant’s parents, who are 87 and 81, were found at an appointment away from the house, and police called Wake County Adult Protective Services to take care of them, Weis said.
The parents were turned over to another family member, she said.
Police did not identify the woman who was being evicted because no charges of abusing animals or elderly persons had been filed, Weis said. An investigation was continuing.