NORTH BERGEN - Animal control officers removed dozens of dogs and cats from a North Bergen home today.
Neighbors tell News 12 New Jersey that they have been complaining to police for a while about the home on the 100 block of Hillcrest Place. They say that they fear the home’s tenant abandoned the house and the animals inside.
The animals could be seen peeking through the windows of the house, and several cats were seen on the roof of the home.
Police officers responded to the house Wednesday after weeks of complaints of constant barking. Officers were waiting to get a search warrant to go into the home, but decided to forgo the warrant after observing at least one dead dog inside.
In all, 32 fully grown dogs, 17 puppies, three kittens and two adult cats were rescued. One dog was found dead inside the home and 11 cats were also found to have died.
Authorities say that the conditions inside the home were deplorable, with feces all over the house. The animals also reportedly did not have any food or water.
A warrant has been issued for the arrest of the animals' owner, Juan Perez, 58. He is expected to be charged with animal cruelty.
Perez did not show up in court Wednesday, where he was to appear on charges of not having the animals properly licensed.
Authorities fear Perez may have left town.
The dogs and cats will be placed in a no-kill shelter, where they will be evaluated and eventually put up for adoption.