SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- A 15-year fight between a Scottsdale homeowner and his neighbors appears to be over.
The homeowner, who has not been officially identified, kept tortoises and exotic birds at his home, near Pima and Chaparral. Neighbors have been filing code enforcement complaints for more than a decade, citing manure, flies, odors, overgrown trees, abandoned vehicles, and more.
"I found a rat in my yard, dead. How bad were things over there that the rats were coming over here to die," said neighbor Ann Sespico.
The homeowner went to the hospital over the weekend. Police went to the home to check on the animals, and found 14 tortoises, five of which were dead. They also found 13 exotic birds inside.
Police on scene smelled smoke, and found a microwave cord shorting out. They say the home would have gone up in flames if they hadn't been there.
An inspection and eviction notice is now posted on the door.
The Arizona Humane Society seized the animals, and brought them in for exams.
Neighbors say the homeowner is a former Arizona State University professor. He faces animal cruelty charges.