Nassau SPCA raids home in Bellmore

Authorities raided a Bellmore home Wednesday evening after receiving a tip that animals were being kept in deplorable conditions.



The Nassau SPCA conducted the raid at a home on Ocean Avenue, which detectives say was filled with a "menagerie of neglected animals."



Neighbors say they reported the homeowner, Gary Gruber, and the unsanitary conditions to authorities.



The animals included a 5-foot alligator, box turtles, snapping turtles and assorted birds. There were 400 animals in all, officials say. 



Authorities say the home was filled with filth and feces and temperatures inside were as high as 100 degrees.



Some of the animals kept in the home were illegally owned, authorities say.



SPCA detective Bob Sowers says the probe began five months ago. He says it appears that Gruber was collecting the animals, but the situation grew out of his control.



Detectives gave the homeowner 24 hours to clean up the home or be arrested and charged with animal neglect and failure to provide proper sustenance to the animals.



Gruber's attorney says his client was rehabilitating the animals.


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