MONTCLAIR, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — There has been a heartbreaking case of possible animal neglect in New Jersey. Two dogs were found abandoned in the woods of Essex County.
CBS2’s Nick Caloway went to Montclair on Tuesday to see how they are doing.
“This poor dog was completely emaciated. He probably needs to gain 20 pounds,” resident Daryn Sirota said.
A male white pit bull was found Sunday abandoned in the woods of the Eagle Rock Reservation, hungry and neglected. Despite that, the pooch was quickly nick-named “Smooch,” for obvious reasons.
“I guess because he gives lots and lots of smooches to everyone that’s there,” Sirota said.
A friend of Sirota’s found the dog. Sirota then took him in and dropped him off at Montclair Animal Control.
Thanks to social media, she realized another pit bull was found the very next day in the very same place.
She is named “Baby” for now, and she was found by West Orange resident Jennifer Tunnicliffe’s son.
“And I made some eggs and brown rice for her and gave her some organic peanut butter, because she’s really skinny and looks like she hasn’t eaten for a really long time,” Tunnicliffe said.
“And it’s just very clear that these two dogs were connected,” Sirota said.
Officials believe they were victims of backyard breeding before being discarded.
The sheriff’s office said it’s somewhat rare for dogs to be left in Eagle Rock Reservation. But according to Montclair’s senior Animal Control officer, Michele Shiber, when they are it usually isn’t easy to catch those responsible.
“Once an animal hits a large area like the reserve, there’s really not much for us to do except get the care and the medical attention and food that the animal needs to survive and thrive,” Shiber said.
That’s exactly the care Baby and Smooch are getting now at the Montclair Township Animal Shelter.
Smooch’s ribs are still visible, but he’s starting to fatten up a little already.
“The fact that a number of people came together to rescue these animals and that they’re now safe and have a bright future gives me hope,” Sirota said.
The dogs will be held at the shelter for at least seven days, likely longer due to medical issues. Then they will be put up for adoption. So after years of neglect and mistreatment, they can finally find their forever homes.
CBS2’s Nick Caloway contributed to this report.