When a New Jersey woman was caught hoarding 100 dogs on her property, she was charged with 81 counts of animal cruelty. But despite these serious charges, the woman was still allowed to own animals. Now the 66-year-old has been caught abusing dogs once again.
According to NJ.com, Marlene Sandford was charged with animal cruelty again after rescuers discovered 61 dogs living inside her home in “absolute squalor.” This time around, Sanford, if convicted, will face more fines and 6 months in jail.
“This is something we cannot tolerate and never will tolerate,” said Ross Licitra, the executive director of Monmouth County SPCA, which rescued the dogs and is desperately trying to nurse them back to health. “This will absolutely go criminal.”
According to rescuers–who needed several hours to rescue all of the dogs from Sandford’s house of horrors–most of the pups were covered in their urine, drinking dirty water (if they had water at all), and sleeping filthy cages riddled with feces. Some dogs were pregnant; others had just given birth. Rescuers also saved newborn puppies from this horrific scene.
“We were walking into a world of unimaginable disgust,” said Licitra, who suspects Sanford may have been running an underground puppy mill. “(The dogs) are a mess. They’ve been living in absolute squalor like you can’t imagine. They are completely filthy. It’s going to take a while for them to recover.”
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The shelter is raising money to support the dogs’ rehabilitation, which will require emergency veterinary attention, vaccines, chips, spay/neutering, and urgent grooming. “Any and all help is needed,” said Licitra. “It’s going to take an enormous amount of money and effort to get these dogs right.”
The community also stepped up to help the shelter coordinate its emergency response, resulting in foster homes, free grooming services, and nearly $70,000 in donations. “Thank you everyone for the amazing response!” grateful shelter workers wrote. “Please note: most of these dogs have had little to no human interaction and will need very special homes with patient families who understand they will need time to learn to love and be loved.”
Update: Thank you everyone for the amazing response! At this time the dogs are not available for adoption. We've gotten…
Puppy mill survivors often require extra patience, love, and training, because such dogs have only experienced life inside a cage. But this overwhelming community response shows there are still people eager to help puppy mill survivors lead happy, healthy lives. Thanks to everyone who helped these puppies and dogs get the second chance they deserve.
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