5 dogs recovering after being found neglected in Essex County home

Five pitbulls were found by rescue workers on an abandoned property, with some of them were nailed into their kennels without any food or water.

Amanda Eustice

Jul 10, 2024, 9:31 PM

Updated 14 days ago

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It's the first time in a week Max the Pitbull has come face-to-face with the people who rescued him after being abandoned at home on May Street in Irvington.
Yasmin Rivera is a well-known on-the-ground rescuer.
She says she was alerted by someone on July 3 that three pit bulls might be on the abandoned property, but when she arrived, there were five.
Some of them were nailed into their kennels without any food or water.
"I've seen it all, and this was just completely devastating and heartbreaking. When we went downstairs, it was like four separate kennels full of feces and urine," said Rivera.
Thats when Rivera called on the director of Best Friend Dog and Animal Adoption to help with getting the dogs into critical care.
"One dog has all broken teeth. He also has a torn ACL. Walking is very challenging for him right now. We have another dog that is covered in bite wounds all over his face, so it could be indictive of him being a bait dog. Again, probably one of the sweetest one out of all of them," said Lauren Denoma, the president of Best Friend Dog and Animal adoption in Cranford.
Raven Ortiz, from Garden State Utopia, a specialty rescue also stepped in to help, pulling the dogs out of the home and even staying overnight with the animals to care for them.
"There was no potential to find a foster at that time so what we had done was we got two rooms at the cheapest sleazy hotel we could find, and we stayed over there. We had the dogs separated in two separate rooms. We were going back and forth from dog to dog we didn't see at all that night," said Ortiz.
One of the dogs is in boarding, while the others are recovering at Summit Dog and Cat Hospital. The hope is that they will all be able to get adopted in the future.
"They saw one of our veterinarians. When they came in, we sprayed and neutered them, gave them the appropriate shots that they needed, administered medication as needed, so they are looking for a lot better as of now," said Hannah Stavitski, the office manager of Summit Dog and Cat Hospital.
Rescue workers say justice still needs to be served.
They believe based off the conditions of the dogs and what they saw inside the home, they were used for breeding and dog fighting.
Riveria says they have contacted Irvington police to press charges, but nothing has been done.
"We could really use the help of the animal loving community and the public to make sure these people are held accountable and that the police and the investigator sin this case do their job because it was not OK and we have to be their voice.," Rivera said.
News 12 reached out to officials at the Irvington Police Department to see if they are investigating or if they had a suspect in mind. They have not responded.


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