Over the weekend, a total of 276 dogs, including Pugs, Chihuahuas, and Yorkshire Terriers, were rescued from a single property in Howell, New Jersey, in a case of hoarding that has been described as “the worst in the history of Monmouth County.” It’s hard to imagine what was going through the dogs’ minds as they were exposed to the outside world for the first time, but we’re betting that it was a mixture of fear and relief.
According to authorities, who were alerted to the property after the Associated Humane Society received news of a loose dog, the dogs had been living in “deplorable” conditions; the floors of the house were caked in urine and fecal matter, and due to the cramped nature of the property, the dogs had been living on shelves, under beds, and even between walls. It is likely that the dogs’ pet parents, Joseph and Charlene Hendricks, will face charges for failing to provide sufficient veterinary care and offering inhumane living conditions, though most of the dogs removed from the house were described as being in a “fair” condition. Eighty dogs received vaccinations on site, one dog was giving birth, and at least twenty others were visibly pregnant.
It is not known whether the couple knowingly subjected the dogs to cruelty. Neighbors described seeing Charlene in tears as the dogs were taken away, and the couple had called them “their family.” The couple said that they started with eight dogs three years ago, and were overwhelmed as their pets continued to breed.
Though under socialized and fearful, it is hoped that all of the dogs will find new homes eventually. We wish them all the best for the future, and hope that they find loving forever homes soon.
These pets were rescued by the American Humane Societies of New Jersey. Check out their website for more information.