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Officers Remove 46 Rats From Iowa Home

DES MOINES, IA (AP) -- Animal control officers removed 46 pet rats from a Des Moines homes but didn't charge the homeowners and let them keep a few of the rodents.

Des Moines Police Sgt. James Butler told The Des Moines Register the homeowners cooperated with authorities.

Animal control officers went to the southeast Des Moines home Monday after receiving an email tip.

Conditions in the home were poor and officers had to wear respirators, but the rats appeared well cared for.

The homeowners told police they started with a few rats but the rodents kept breeding.

Butler says city code doesn't limit the number of rats people can keep, so the homeowners weren't charged.

Officers took 46 rats and left five others behind. They encouraged the residents to separate the males and females.

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