KANSAS CITY, Mo. (CBS Local) — About 300 animals living in deplorable conditions were removed from a Kansas City duplex Monday afternoon.

The smell inside the home was so bad, the Kansas City Fire Department had to test the ammonia levels before they could go in. Firefighters then had to wear masks as they brought out crate after crate filled with animals.

“We don’t even eat in our house,” neighbor Michaela Moore told CBS affiliate KCTV. “We go out and eat or go to my auntie’s or my grandma’s to eat because we can’t take the smell.”

Officials say they removed about 300 rats, rabbits, guinea pigs, turtles, geckos and other animals from the home.

“In most cases when we get a lot of rats like this there are many, many females that are pregnant, so we could end up with 300-400 rats by the time we’re done,” Tori Fugate with KC Pet Project said.

The man who lives in the duplex, Mikey Montero, said the rats just kept breeding until it got out of control.

“I know I have a lot. I had too many,” he said. “I care about them a lot. I’m suppressing a lot of emotion right now.”

The health department shut down the unit because of the amount of ammonia in the air.

KC Pet Project is taking in almost all of the animals seized. They have posted a wish list on Facebook for resources needed to help take care of the animals.

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