US authorities have seized 276 small dogs from a New Jersey home in what one official described as “the worst hoarding situation” they had seen in Monmouth County.
Monmouth County SPCA interim CEO and President Ross Licitra said at least 20 of the dogs were pregnant and expects that with an average of three to four dogs per litter, at least 80 new pups could push the total to over 350 rescued from what Licitra called Monmouth County’s worst case of pet hoarding ever.
He said no charges have yet been filed against the owners of the home on Bennett Road, Joe and Charlene Hendrick. Licitra said that he will meet with the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office on Monday.
Officials say 276 dogs were removed from a township home on Friday in what Licitra described as “deplorable conditions.” All three shelters that took in the dogs said they are still working to make sure the dogs, which are all small dogs like chihuahua, pugs and Yorkies, are healthy and ready for a permanent home but could begin to be available to take home as early as this week.
Heather Cammisa, president and CEO of St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Rescue in Madison said they took in 141 of the dogs who are not yet ready for adoption.
“We believe we’ll have some by the end of this week ready to go home. Others are going to take a little more time because they need maybe a little bit more medical or a little more socialization,” she said, adding that the dogs need to get used to being around people.
“They’re a little fearful. A little timid,” Cammisa said explaining that the small dogs have been through a lot in a short amount of time. “It’s a lot for them to take in. They went from being in that house with very few people to coming out onto a scene with a lot of people and trucks.”
Cammisa said she is optimistic they will all be ready for adoption in the next couple of weeks. She said St. Hubert’s is looking for professional groomers looking to donate their time to help clean up the dogs.
Barbara Lovell-Napoli, development director at the Monmouth County SPCA said the dogs are not yet ready for adoption and donations are needed first and foremost at this point.
“The dogs we currently have need to be medically cleared, spayed/neutered, and assessed behaviorally before they will be ready to meet potential adopters.”
The MCSPCA is especially in need of blankets, towels, sheets, small/medium crates, dog toys, Science Diet dog food, and Purina ONEwet puppy food according to Lovell-Napoli. Donations are accepted daily including Sunday at their shelter on Wall Street in Eatontown or the adoption center at the Freehold Raceway Mall.
“With the amount of dogs we currently have, it may take 1-2 weeks before the dogs are available” Lovell-Napoli said. However, the process can be started on the MCSPCA’s website at monmouthcountyspca.org
Some may be ready for adoption by their celebration of “National Best Frends Day” on Wednesday when the shelter on Wall Street in Eatontown is open until 7 p.m.
“Remember that we have plenty of dogs and cats waiting patiently at our shelter already for their homes” Lovell-Napoli said.
The AHS Shelter in Tinton Falls is accepting donations daily including Sunday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.
“Once all the dogs have had their intakes and have been properly vetted we will be starting the process to find these little guys new loving homes. In the meantime we are in need of medium crates/kennels, sheets, towels, & puppy and dog food,” animal control officer Sgt. Kevin Rella said.