CLIFFSIDE PARK - Dozens of pets rescued from what investigators call “deplorable conditions” in North Bergen are doing quite well according to the founder of the shelter that took them in.
About half of the 50 dogs and cats are recovering at an animal shelter in Cliffside Park. That shelter is run by the Bergen County Protect and Rescue. Workers at the shelter tell News 12 New Jersey that despite the poor conditions inside the home, most of the animals are in great condition, both physically and emotionally.
“Animals are really forgiving. They're just looking for some love and they're looking to give it right back,” says rescue founder Vince Ascolese.
The animals were found inside a home on Hillcrest Place in North Bergen Wednesday after neighbors called police about constant barking. Police believe the pets’ owner, Juan Perez, left them alone for weeks.
Investigators say that the home was covered in feces and that the animals had only limited access to food and water.
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.
A warrant has been issued for Perez’s arrest. He is expected to be charged with animal cruelty. Police fear that he may have left town.
Ascolese says that it could be at least 10 days before the pets can be put up for adoption. More information about a timeline for adoption can be found at the rescue’s website.