‘This is up there with one of the worst’ – 200 dogs rescued from hoarding home

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KINGWOOD TOWNSHIP -

Roughly 200 dogs were rescued from what authorities say was a "massive hoarding situation" at a Hunterdon County home.

Law enforcement officers and animal welfare groups went to the Kingwood Township home Tuesday to remove the dogs.

“We prepared for the worst. We were prepared for 500-plus dogs,” says Monmouth County SPCA Chief Ross Licitra. “Thank God it didn't turn out that way.”

Officials said the animals seemed to have had limited human contact and minimal to no veterinary care. Many of the dogs were pregnant and/or had "masses and infections." About 20 deceased dogs were also found inside the home.

“There are some behavior issues just from being in cages for a long time…A lot of feces. They were unkempt. Their coats were matted, nails extremely long,” says veterinarian Dr. Nicole Feddersen

The animals were taken in by St. Hubert’s animal shelter in Morris County and by the Monmouth County SPCA.

Details on the investigation are limited, but public records show the home is owned by a known breeder of Parson Russell terriers. The two people living in the home, which was filled with animals, feces and food containers, are facing charges.

"Hoarding is a mental disorder, and it’s always going to be a complicated issue to understand why people hoard anything for any reason. But animals seem to really over-complicate a situation,” Licitra says.

Officials say all of the animals will need vaccinations and will be dewormed, microchipped, and spayed or neutered. The dogs were found in the home and in other buildings at the site.

Officials say that it may be a while before the dogs can be put up for adoption. But anyone who would like to help is asked to donate either monetarily or items like food or blankets. Officials are also urging people looking for a new pet to adopt one of the many dogs already in the shelters in order to make room for these new dogs.

If you would like to donate, click here. Animals for adoption will be listed on the website when they become available. 

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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