276 small dogs were rescued earlier this month from a home in New Jersey in what has been labeled “the worst hoarding situation” ever seen by officials.
According to NBC, “Charlene and Joseph Handrik, of Howell Township, were charged Friday with 276 counts of animal cruelty for providing inhumane living conditions to the animals and another 276 counts for failing to provide their dogs proper care.”
All charges are considered disorderly persons offenses instead of indictable counts, because, surprisingly, the dogs were all in really good health despite the neglect and poor conditions in which they were found.
The hoarding conditions were found by chance, as a Humane Society official was following up on a report of a dog on the loose. When he arrived at the Handriks’ home, he heard a number of barking dogs and noted a terrible smell coming from the house. The official notified the SPCA and officers immediately launched a rescue mission. Hundred of small dogs were found, sitting on bookshelves, under beds, and even between the walls. Based on their reaction upon removal, it is also suspected many had never been outdoors.
The dogs are already in process of being adopted and all are being cared for at a New Jersey animal shelter or in foster homes. 25 of the dogs were pregnant and many were still nursing babies. The pregnant and nursing dogs will receive additional care and fostering before being adopted.
The couple is expected to face additional charges, including charges for not vaccinating and not licensing.
Source: NBC New York
Photo Info: St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center assisted the Monmouth County SPCA with the dog rescue.