KANSAS CITY — About 300 small animals were removed from a Kansas City duplex, where they lived in "deplorable" conditions, a city official said Monday.

The lab rats, rabbits, guinea pigs, turtles, geckos and other animals that were taken from the home Monday were in cages packed so closely to each other there was little room to move around the house, said John Baccala, a spokesman for the Kansas City Neighborhood and Housing Services. 

Two people lived at the duplex, The Kansas City Star reported. 

"It's really unfortunate," Baccala said. "When someone is in a position like this, we want to get them some help." 

Baccala said he had not seen such an extreme case before. He said conditions were deplorable and the odor was noticeable outside the duplex. Officials did not know why the residents were keeping the animals, or when they began collecting them.

KC Pet Project is working with the city to find homes for the animals.