WESTON, Conn. — A Weston man was arrested on animal cruelty charges after police found hundreds of exotic birds, snakes and reptiles in deplorable conditions on his property last month, according to the Weston Forum.
Many of the seized animals were in poor condition or dead, police said.
Daniel Kopulos, who had owned a pet shop in Manhattan, turned himself in Tuesday afternoon at Weston police headquarters and was released on a written promise to appear in court Oct. 24, the Weston Forum said.
The menagerie was discovered Sept. 15 after neighbors complained about the odor on the property, police said.
"We have never had anything of this nature to this extent," Weston Police Sgt. Pat Daubert told the Daily Voice last month. "We've had some hoarding issues (in the past)."
More than 130 birds and 90 snakes were removed last month from the home and an outbuilding on the property at at 82 Newtown Turnpike, according to the Weston Forum.
Daubert said Kopulos had moved the animals to the property after an issue with his New York State-based pet store, Fauna NYC.
"This is a result of a pet store that had lost their lease, or there was some issue with their facility, and in the interim these animals were moved here," Daubert said. "It was the intention of the owner to secure a new place and move them to a new facility."
Many of the snakes were dead as were some of the birds were police checked the property. Private animal organizations helped police remove the animal and ensure that the birds and snakes that survived were moved to proper facilities.
A Facebook page for Fauna NYC said Kopulos started a nonprofit organization called Animal Preservation Alliance "to further his efforts with conservation, education and rehabilitation/adoption programs" of animals.
Click here to read the story at the Weston Forum.