Investigators and neighbors described the home as unsanitary.
"For it to be that many animals, it's kind of shocking," said neighbor Brandon Knoll. "The birds were constantly squawking. I don't know if the birds were trying to get the cats or the cats were trying to get the birds. It sounded like a cartoon. It smelled like garbage piled on top of garbage and animal droppings. Just terrible."
ANIMAL HOARDING: 12 cats, 7 dogs and 20 birds rescued from inside their Cumberland County home. Animal control says trash, feces and urine were scattered throughout. Four children ages 2-11 lived there as well. Details tonight on #ABC11. pic.twitter.com/fPIB786Ut0— Akilah Davis (@DavisABC11) August 6, 2019
Animal control told ABC11 that officers rescued 12 cats and kittens, seven dogs and 20 different birds from inside the home.
Fayetteville police say 33-year-old Cassondra Brown and 34-year-old Matthew Brown are being charged with child abuse. The Department of Social Services is in on the investigation because the couple's children were living in the home as well. Their ages range from 2-11.
"It was a typical situation where we see somebody has more pets than they can take care of. Things were getting out of hand," said Elaine Smith, director of Cumberland County Animal Control.
Neighbors said their primary concern are the children.
"If authorities were in here last night wearing protective masks and gear, it doesn't seem like the best place for kids to be living in," Knoll said.