NORTH MERRICK - Animal control agents seized hundreds of pigeons they say were living uncaged inside a Merrick home.
SPCA officers delivered a warrant to Gregory Unruh, 68, of Abbott Avenue. Officers said conditions were so deplorable that they required hazmat suits and face masks to enter the home.
The homeowner was given oxygen and taken by ambulance to Nassau University Medical Center. Soon after, an SPCA officer helping to secure the premises fell and injured his head. He was also transferred to the hospital.
Authorities say they removed 400 pigeons from the house. They say the excrement was almost 2 feet deep.
Officers say there is no running water in the house, the sinks were full of wastewater and most of the birds were flying loose inside the house.
The Hempstead Town Building Department posted stickers saying "Unfit for Human Occupancy" and "Unsafe Structure" on the front door.
The SPCA is urging people to call them if they assume a homeowner is having difficulty caring for multiple pets. The number is 516-THE-SPCA.