ROSELLE  — Police responding to reports of animal abuse were forced to wear full hazmat suits to rescue more than 40 animals, the Union County Prosecutor's Office said.

Representatives from the prosecutor's office, the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and the local police and Board of Health searched the home of 40-year-old  Evelio J. Calderon. What they found was the animals living in "severely unsanitary and inhumane living conditions," according to Prosecutor Michael A. Monahan.

The dogs had been locked inside and were not allowed out to go outside to defecate, Monahan said.

Some of the pups were only a few days old while others were considerably older, in a variety of breeds and sizes.

Responders treated the animals for malnourishment, joint problems and eye issues," according to the prosecutor. Some also had signs of worms, infected wounds, scars, and scratches, with one dog missing an ear. Another was missing its tail.

Calderon was charged with two counts of third-degree animal cruelty, 14 counts of fourth-degree animal abuse by failing to provide care and 15 counts of failure to provide necessary care to an animal.

After the dogs were removed from the home they received help from Traveling Paws Animal Rescue, St. Hubert's Animal Welfare Center, the Last Resort Animal Rescue and the Edison and Montclair animal shelters.

The prosecutor's office is asking anyone with information about this or other similar incidents to contact Assistant Prosecutor Patricia Cronin at 908-527-4169 or Detective Vito Colacitti at 908-527-4387.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story has been updated to correct that the alleged abuse was reported in Roselle.

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