SCOTCH PLAINS, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — More than 100 animals were found crammed in cages and living in filth in New Jersey.
Pictures show dozens of dogs locked away in small cages inside a private Scotch Plains home.
“The loudest ones, about 100 of them, were in the basement, and they had soundproofed the basement with mattresses,” said Lyndsay Ruotolo, acting Union County prosecutor.
The county prosecutor says earlier this week, investigators shut down the unlawful operation and arrested the man who allegedly ran it.
“We were lucky that a member of the community revealed what was going on to us,” Ruotolo said.
The crackdown resulted in more than 130 animals, both dogs and cats, being rescued. They range in breed and age from puppies to fully grown. They were transferred to more than a dozen local shelters, including the non-kill shelter Plainfield Area Humane Society. The director says it’s important to adopt, not shop.
“It’s also tempting for people to want to go to a puppy mill or somewhere that is supplied by puppy mills because they’ve got cute dogs, designer dogs,” director Elijah Brice-Middleton said. “Shelter dogs need homes just as much, and if you do not support puppy mills, they will no longer exist.”
The shelter director says for the most part, the animals are in good health, but they’re not quite ready for adoption, just fostering.
There are already crowds of people coming in, inquiring about them.
“I’m coming to get a chihuahua,” said Barbara Longo, of Plainfield, New Jersey.
Another New Jersey woman was hopefully already naming her new foster dog.
“I think I’m going to name her Porsche,” said Tatiana Cancela, of Piscataway.
Hopefully giving the dog a forever home after going through cruel times.
The investigation marked the single largest seizure of at-risk animals in Union County since animal cruelty prevention protocols were strengthened in January of 2018.