MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Officials in Fillmore County have recovered 31 animals from a rural property after complaints of animal cruelty.

According to WCCO affiliate KIMT, 18 rabbits, eight ducks and five chicks were taken from the property after the animals were observed living in unsanitary and overcrowded cages.

The Animal Humane Society says it sent an agent to investigate the property after receiving multiple complaints about animals on the property. AHS says the agent observed that several of the animals appeared to be suffering from untreated injuries and health problems.

The agent reportedly attempted to contact the property owner and recommend ways to improve the living condition for the animals, but the owner’s response suggested she was unable or unwilling to make changes.

AHS then worked with Fillmore County Sheriff’s Office officials to get a search warrant and remove the animals.

The animals were then removed and are now quarantined at the AHS for care and treatment.

A criminal animal cruelty investigation is ongoing.

“Animal welfare cases are often emotionally charged and complicated and this case is no exception,” Sheriff Tom Kaase said.

Kaase added that people reserve judgement until all the facts are gathered and the investigation is completed.

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