METHUEN, MASS. (WHDH) - Seven of the nearly 200 terriers and dachshunds found living in squalor at a once-renowned New Jersey dog kennel are now recovering in Massachusetts.
The Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA) sent four staffers and a transport van to the Rocky Ridge Russells kennel in Stockton, N.J. last Thursday to bring six female parson terriers and one male parson terrier to the Bay State.
Four of the rescued terriers are at Nevins Farm in Methuen, while the other three are at MSPCA-Cape Cod in Centerville, where they will undergo more extensive health and behavior checks before they can be put up for adoption.
The dogs brought to Massachusetts are considered generally healthy but are suffering from scalding on their legs caused by standing in feces and urine, as well as ear and eye infections, according to the MSPCA. They will also need dental cleanings and possibly some extractions.
The other 181 dogs are being cared for by the St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center in New Jersey.
Martin Strozeski, a co-owner of the kennel, told The New York Times that Rocky Ridge Russells became “a hobby turned bad.”
Officials said the animals seemed to have had limited human contact and minimal to no veterinary care. They noted that many were pregnant, had “masses and infections,” or both.
Strozeski claimed the condition of the dogs was exaggerated in reports.
Mike Keiley, director of adoption centers and programs at the MSPCA-Angell, says the owners of the kennel should of sought help when they began to lose control of the operation.
“The saddest aspect of this story is that there seemingly were many opportunities for the owners of these dogs to ask for help,” he said. “This operation spun out of control and unfortunately the animals paid the price. We want to make sure that for however long they are with us they receive not only the basics like medical care and quality food, but as much love and attention as our staff and volunteers can provide.”
The Hunterdon County’s prosecutor’s office has opened a cruelty investigation.
Those looking to donate towards the care of the dogs in Massachusetts can do so here.
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