Hundreds Of Dogs Rescued From New Jersey House
HOWELL TOWNSHIP, N.J. — Hundreds of dogs have been rescued from a home in New Jersey in what police said may be the worst case of animal hoarding in state history.
Monmouth County police discovered the dogs living in inhumane conditions at a home in Howell Township on Thursday night, CBS New York reported.
“A total of 276 dogs were living inside this house,” Chief Ross Licitra of the Monmouth County SPCA said.
Dogs wrapped in blankets or in crates were carried out of the house by volunteers in masks and hazmat gear all day Friday. The dogs appeared frightened with dirty, matted coats.
Most of the dogs were of smaller breeds like pugs, Yorkies, and Chihuahuas. Some of them were giving birth as authorities arrived, and the newborn pups needed oxygen tanks.
“What we have here is an extreme case of hoarding,” Licitra said. “They were everywhere, and anywhere. Just everywhere you looked they were hiding in crevices. They were under furniture.”
Licitra said two of the dogs needed to be hospitalized, including a newborn puppy that may have been crushed by a piece of furniture.
“We found the puppy barely breathing so we rushed it to Red Bank Animal Hospital, the other dog had a broken leg,” Licitra said.
Suzanna DeGrande has lived right across the street for years and complained about the smell. “It was very putrid,” she told the station.
The dogs’ owner, Charlene Hutchins, paced and smoked as rescuers carted the animals away. She refused to speak with CBS New York.
“I thought there was something strange going on, because she never comes out of the house,” DeGrande said.
It’s believed the couple living in the home started bringing the dogs in three years ago, and the situation spiraled out of control. They now face a long list of animal cruelty charges.
Last month, a neighbor reported a loose dog and the Humane sSociety came to check the house, but what they found Thursday night stunned everyone.
“You could notice a smell, but you never really thought there could be that many animals,” neighbor Beth Applegate said, “You don’t know what goes on in somebody’s house. You don’t know what’s going on in their life.”
According to a post on the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page, the dogs were taken to a triage area where they were vaccinated and microchipped.
The dogs were then transferred to the Monmouth County SPCA or St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center for further care, police said. After being checked out, all of the dogs will be put up for adoption.