JACKSON – More than a dozen dogs of various breeds were removed from a filthy residential garage in Jackson recently after volunteers were informed about the dogs’ plight by the animals’ owners.
According to the Associated Humane Popcorn Park Shelter in Forked River, the dogs were as young as 5 months old and were confined to a home’s garage. There were no windows in the garage, nor was there proper ventilation, according to authorities.
“The garage was covered in feces, as were the dogs,” according to a statement from the Associated Humane Popcorn Park Shelter. “There was no ventilation in this garage, no windows, nowhere for the urine and feces to go, and no end in sight for these poor dogs.”
Officials said the owners told volunteers from Home Free Animal Rescue they initially had just a few dogs, but they said they became overwhelmed when the dogs began to mate and have puppies.
Volunteers removed four dogs from the garage on June 9. The remaining dogs were removed on June 11 with the owners’ cooperation. Authorities did not provide the location of the home or the names of the owners.
Four dogs less than 1 year old were taken in by the Associated Humane Popcorn Park Shelter; two dogs were brought to an Atlantic County SPCA shelter; and nine dogs were taken in by Home Free Animal Rescue volunteers.
Authorities said three male dogs had to be completely shaved because their fur was so matted with waste.
“The hard part is getting (the dogs) to realize they are safe and cared for, and that they have nothing to be afraid of. Right now they are still quite terrified and can barely handle being touched,” according to the statement. “This is just heartbreaking to watch but … we know that with lots of time, love and patience, we will get through to these terribly scared pups.”
As of June 14 the dogs were not available for adoption because they were still being socialized.
The Jackson rescue came on the heels of a June 3 rescue in Howell in which 276 dogs were removed from one home. Authorities said the dogs in Howell were being fed and cared for, which apparently was not the case with the dogs that were found in the Jackson garage a week later.
Donations to the Associated Humane Popcorn Park Shelter may be made to its Res-Q Fund online or by texting HumaneHelp to 41444.