SPRING LAKE HEIGHTS, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Authorities say more than 50 dogs and puppies were found living in filth at a home in Spring Lake Heights, New Jersey.

An animal rescue officer says it was apparently an illegal puppy-selling operation. He also says conditions in the home were “horrendous” and not fit for animals or people.

Charges are pending against 69-year-old Muriel Ennis and her 40-year-old son Chad.

Ennis told the Asbury Park Press the dogs became an overwhelming problem when they were dumped off at the home after her partner in a dog-breeding arrangement became ill.

She says “it’s been hell.”

Ennis denies the animals are unhealthy.

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