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Police find hoarded animals in Montclair warehouse

Around 1,500 animals were found dead and alive in “appalling conditions” at an industrial warehouse in Montclair.

The discovery was made Thursday, August 3 after police obtained a search warrant to check on the space at 4650 Arrow Highway, according to Sgt. John Minook of the Montclair Police Department.

Sgt. Minook said thousands of birds, reptiles and chicks were found dead in the building. Just under 1,500 chickens, parakeets, lovebirds and others were found at the site, according to James Edward of the Inland Valley Humane Society.

There was little ventilation in the warehouse, which was covered in feces and filled with trash, Mr. Edward said.

“We found out that they had been at the location in Montclair for a period of time without food and water,” he said.

Officers made the discovery after arriving August 2 to serve an arrest warrant on an unrelated matter, Sgt. Minook said.

“It was at that time there were suspicions there were animals inside of the unit and we had to obtain a search warrant in order to be able to go in,” Mr. Edward said.

The unit, G-11, had no outdoor signage, and the entrance was peppered with different types of plants. A foul odor could still be detected at the site, long after humane society officials had left on Friday.

Peggy King, who owns Hometown Electric, a nearby business at the complex, described the owner as “some kind of hoarder” who had been at the location for about three years.

Ms. King, Mr. Edward and San Bernardino County arrest records identified the man as 52-year-old Gregory Bowman. Mr. Bowman is facing several felony animal cruelty charges.

It was only within the last few months when things took a turn, Ms. King said. Animals were being trucked in, and about two dozen portable plastic storage tanks were placed in front of the business.

Ms. King said Mr. Bowman would spend a lot of time in front of the unit.

“He would walk his dog, smoke a cigarette and scratch his stomach,” Ms. King said.

Ms. King said complaints were made to the property management, but nothing was done.

The SPCA and staff are currently evaluating the surviving animals at the Boys Republic in Chino Hills. According to Mr. Edward, some of the rescued animals have since died.

“We don’t have information as far as availability on them yet, due to the fact that it is an ongoing investigation with this individual,” Mr. Edward said.

The Humane Society will post adoption information on their website when it becomes available, Mr. Edward added.

—Matthew Bramlett

news@claremont-courier.com

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