TINTON FALLS - In the last two weeks, 21 dogs have been surrendered to animal control officers after two separate pet shops were shut down, and now one animal shelter has been inundated with veterinarian bills to care for some of the animals.
The Husky House shelter in Matawan has racked up about $35,000 in bills to treat the dogs. Lorraine Healy, of Husky House, says that the shelter is looking for assistance. The plan is to rehabilitate the dogs and eventually put them up for adoption.
The 21 dogs turned in came from two pet shops in New Jersey that were shut down due to health violations. On Christmas Eve, Fancy Pups in Woodbridge was shut down. The owner and several employees were charged with animal cruelty.
Then on New Year’s Eve, Lucky Pet Shop in Union City closed. According to animal control records, the shop is owned by Oscar Cardenas. He reportedly surrendered eight dogs that were up for sale to officials. Two shih tzus died.
Many of the dogs were being treated for intestinal parasites, parvovirus and pneumonia. Officials say that they believe that Cardenas has more dogs that he is trying to sell.
"Right now we know he has eight additional puppies that he's advertising online,” Healy says. “Sadly they're out there somewhere sick."
Healy fears that the dogs are contagious.
"People in the pet stores are touching one puppy and then touching another and they're spreading the virus,” she says. “These puppies get sold and the pet stores walk away."
News 12 New Jersey tried to contact Cardenas about the conditions of the dogs, but did not get a response.