‘Hobby turned bad’ — NJ ‘hoarding’ kennel fell on hard times, owner says
Nearly 200 dogs that were rescued from a former award-winning breeder's property are recovering well, and some will be available for adoption as soon as Saturday, according to a veterinarian facility.
The dogs were removed from a property in Hunterdon County on Tuesday because of concerns about their treatment. Officials said the animals seemed to have had limited human contact and minimal to no veterinary care. Authorities also found several dead dogs on the property.
None of the dogs had life-threatening conditions or had to be taken to emergency animal hospitals, but it appeared they had been kept in cages, said Nora Parker, spokeswoman for the St. Hubert's Animal Welfare Center. She said some had skin or fur conditions that needed immediate treatment.
"Thankfully we aren't finding anything that isn't treatable, or that is life-threatening," she said.
Martin Strozeski, a former Westminster Dog Show winning breeder who co-owns the kennel where the dogs were found, told The New York Times the kennel had fallen on hard times.
He said he and his business partner "couldn't give (the dogs) away," calling the kennel "a hobby turned bad."
A total of 188 were brought to the St. Hubert's facility in Madison.
The animal center had about 40 or 50 dogs on-site at the time, and the Morris County emergency management office set up climate-controlled tents in the center's parking lot to accommodate the new arrivals and provide space for medical exams.
Most of the dogs are Parson Russell terriers, a slightly larger version of Jack Russell terriers, Parker said. More than 100 of the dogs already have been transferred to other shelters to be readied for adoption. Some went to the Dakin Humane Society in Springfield, Massachusetts, which sent personnel to New Jersey earlier in the week to offer assistance.
Hunterdon County prosecutors were continuing to investigate, and no charges had been filed by Friday afternoon.
"This was obviously a breeder at one time," Parker said. "Things were obviously out of control here. We don't know what was going on behind the scenes. Until they finish investigating, we just don't know what went wrong, that it got to 188 dogs."
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