Jackson residents had 2 horrific homes where they hoarded dozens of dogs
JACKSON — Less than a week after 17 feces-covered dogs were removed from a garage in this township, authorities say 11 more animals were rescued from another home owned by the same person.
According to the Associated Humane Popcorn Park Shelter, the owners of the 17 dogs owned another residence in Jackson where they say more dogs were living "in even worse conditions."
"These dogs were kept in a house that was covered in feces, urine and dirt, and the walls and doors were chewed up and falling apart," the Associated Humane Societies said in a Facebook Post.
Earlier this week, Home Free Animal Rescue — the same organization that removed the first 17 pups, which they said had never been exposed to daylight or other humans — went in and rescued 11 more from the other Jackson home. Five of those dogs were taken to the AHS/Popcorn Park while the rest are in the care of foster families associated with Home Free.
"The five dogs that we received, Angel, Asia, Jeffrey, Simon and Sylvia, are all a little older than the first group but are even more terrified as they have been living in solitude and isolation for a longer period of time," The AHS/Popcorn Park said. "Although the owners claimed to have bathed these dogs just yesterday, many still had feces and urine on them and needed grooming. Just having water and soap touch their bodies was enough to send some of them into a complete panic. They trembled with fear, but seemed to relax a little more as they began to realize that nothing would harm them."
The case is now being investigated by the the NJ Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, AHS/Popcorn Park said on Facebook. NJSPCA Spokesperson Matt Stanton could not immediately be reached for comment, but told NJ101.5 earlier this week that the investigation is ongoing and "charges are being considered."
Immediately following the most recent rescue, the dogs were bathed and received medical attention. Veterinarians found that some of the dogs were bruised and injured from fighting with other dogs in the home.
Due to the length of time they've been in isolation, officials at the AHS/Popcorn Park say the five dogs in their care are timid and not yet ready for adoption. They're still having problems adjusting to people and life outside the residence in which they were found.
"They do not know how to behave, they do not even know how to enjoy themselves," the AHS said in a statement. "None of them know how to walk on a leash and completely freeze when a leash is attached to them. They have lived in conditions so horrible that most of us cannot even imagine it. They need time, patience and love, and we will give them that and help them all to start over."
The staff members at the AHS/Popcorn Park say some of the dogs must be kept behind sheets to keep them calm. The organization is asking that concerned members of the public "respect their privacy and let them be" until they're ready for interaction and permanent homes.
In the meantime, the dogs have been given "calming collars" which help reduce anxiety. Due to the previous rescue in Jackson as well as the hundreds of dogs removed from the hoarding case in Howell recently, AHS/Popcorn Park says it's supply of calming collars has been depleted. Officials are asking that anyone who wishes to help the dogs make a donation to the organization's Res-Q Fund or text HumaneHelp to 41444 to make a contribution toward the care of the dogs.
Toniann Antonelli is a social content producer for NJ 101.5. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @ToniRadio1015.