The county received complaints of a foul odor emanating from the facility.
Authorities in Lake Forest, CA have removed about 200 reptiles and other animals from Reptile Rescue Orange County after receiving multiple complaints of possible animal cruelty. The Orange County Sheriff’s Department began receiving the complaints early this month and after visiting the premises with limited access to the facility, officials, with the help of a former volunteer who had a key to the building, gained access and began removing the animals, some dead, from the premises.
“Part of the complaints we received mentioned that, for several days, nobody was seen coming into the property to check on the welfare of the animals,” Orange County Animal Care spokeswoman Jessica Novillo told the Orange County Register.
From the RROC website: "RROC's purpose is to find quality homes for reptiles, amphibians, Invertebrates, and all other exotic animals that people can no longer care for. RROC also provides education for the public relating to exotic animals. We carefully screen all potential adopters. RROC will take in any reptile, amphibian, arachnid, or other exotic animal that needs a new home and/or medical attention. We have years of experience keeping and working with these animals."
The 501(c)3 non-profit public benefit organization was founded in 2008, according to its website. Yelp reviews of the facility were generally good up until about 2018. Its Facebook page hasn't been updated in months.