Florida police are seeking donations to help care for three children and 245 animals pulled from a single, squalid home on Sunday. It's a bizarre case that reportedly began when Gregg Nelson tried to break up with both his wife and his girlfriend, who lived with the couple in Edgewater, per the Washington Post. When Susan Nelson refused to let her husband take his three daughters with him, he requested police visit the three-bedroom home he described as uninhabitable, according to an affidavit. From the driveway, Anthony Binz was greeted with the "overwhelming odor of ammonia." Upon entering "the absolute worst residence" he's seen in his five years as a police officer, he says he found 245 animals, all of whom had fleas and some of whom were sitting in their own feces in cages, without access to food or water.
There were 95 mice, 83 rats, 14 birds, 12 rabbits, 10 sugar gliders, 10 guinea pigs, seven bearded dragons, four hamsters, four dogs, two cats, two geckos, and a tortoise and hedgehog in the home, which was covered in an ankle-deep layer of debris, per WKMG and NBC News. "It was immediately evident that neither the children nor the animals were being cared for properly," said police, adding they were unaware of the conditions despite five visits to the home in the past year. The animals were taken to a shelter, while the girls—7, 9, and 10—were moved to a relative's house. Susan Nelson, 43, was detained while the girls' father, 57, was hospitalized with chest pains. The girlfriend, Melissa Hamilton, 49, was receiving treatment after a suicide attempt, per the Post. All three face three counts of child abuse and 66 counts of animal cruelty. (Police found 1,000 dead animals in this home.)