🐶 61 animals were removed from the house in Middletown

🐶 The house reeked of ammonia and feces

🐶 One dog's legs had to be amputated

MIDDLETOWN — The owner of a house where 61 small dogs were found living in squalor was sentenced Thursday to six months in jail and a $30,500 fine.

Temperatures were over 100 degrees in July 2020 when volunteers and staff from the Monmouth County SPCA in full PPE gear worked for six hours to remove the dogs from a small apartment inside the house belonging to Marlene Sandford, according to MCSPCA Executive Director Ross Licitra.

Horrific conditions

The animals were in stacked crates with no food or water, living in their own feces and urine, officials said.

Several dogs were pregnant.

The house reeked of ammonia and excrement. The waste was so thick the dogs could barely walk.

The fur on one dog named Mary Lou was so matted it grew around her legs which had to be amputated, according to Licitra.

Justice for the animals

Licitra, a Monmouth County commissioner and former head of the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office Human Police Department called it a big win for animal welfare and the fact that animal cruelty will not be tolerated.

“There is no greater victory than when justice is brought forth, especially when the lives of innocent animals are involved. We are so proud of our Monmouth County SPCA Law Enforcement Division along with the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office and the Middletown Township Police Department for the persistence, professionalism, and most of all, hard work it took to finally bring this case to an end.

All 61 dogs have been adopted.

This was the same address the animal police visited in 2009, when it found 80 dogs living in similar squalor, according to Licitra.

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