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More than 100 birds, mice and a gecko found in Hemet apartment

April 28, 2010 |  4:40 pm

Authorities discovered more than 100 animals -- including mice, colorful birds and a gecko -- crammed inside a small apartment in Hemet on Wednesday after the death of a man who lived there. Hemet Birds

In all, 132 animals in cages were packed into the 400-square-foot apartment. Among the birds were doves, parakeets and a finch. There were also albino mice and hamsters, officials said.

"It was definitely very mini-zoo like," John Welsh, spokesman for the Riverside County Department of Animal Control Services, said of the apartment in the 500 block of Santa Fe Street.

Department officers were called to the apartment after the owner was found dead of a possible stroke in a nearby stairwell. The man appeared to be raising the animals for sale, Welsh said.

Hemet Mouse "They were cute critters," Welsh said, adding that they were "well cared for."

The animals were turned over to the Ramona Humane Society in San Jacinto.

-- Robert J. Lopez

Photos: Animals found in a Hemet apartment. Credit: Riverside County Department of Animal Services