MOSCOW, TN (abc24.com) - Residents in Moscow, Tennessee are describing a home as a "house of horrors" after more than 160 animals inside were found abused, neglected or dead.
William Parr, the owner of the home, is charged with 168 counts of animal cruelty.
Dr. Jennifer Dunlap with Dunlap Equine Services has been investigating animal cruelty cases for 14 years. She says what she encountered at the home of William Parr was "horrifying."
"I have never seen a situation this severe," she said. "This is the worst animal hoarding, animal neglect case I've ever seen."
168 animals were found inside the home. She says the conditions those animals were living in was "unimaginable, unbelievable."
"The home was completely dark… we had to search for animals with flashlights."
Once they found the animals, Dunlap says, "The cages were so encrusted with feces and hair, we had to peel that back to search for animals inside the cages."
Of the 168 animals they discovered, 25 of those were dead.
Dunlap says trash was throughout the house, "in some cases up to my shoulders," she said. "There were pizza boxes, human food, dog food that was molding, covered in roaches, mice, and rats."
Betty Atkeison lives across the street from the Parrs. She says she rarely saw the 68-year-old Parr or any of his family members, which included three teenagers ages 12, 17 and 19.
"They were very private… I've never known people so private."
Atkeison says she's also never known anyone that would do what Parr is accused of doing.
"I can't imagine how anybody can live under those conditions."
As for the condition of the rescued animals, Dunlap says they're being held at an undisclosed location but they are recovering.
Parr is scheduled to be in a Fayette County courtroom for the animal cruelty charges October 23.
The 12 and 17 year old children have since been placed in state custody. Parr and his wife have not been charged with child neglect, but both will appear in court on Wednesday, September 26 for a custody hearing.