It is simply mind-boggling. There’s just no other way to put it.
Last week, authorities in Monmouth County, New Jersey, reportedly rescued 276 dogs from one home. According to multiple media accounts, some of the dogs had never been outside, some were trapped in walls and some were literally having puppies.
“When the Monmouth County SPCA Law Enforcement Division realized that we were facing an historical hoarding event, we knew that we would need to call on all our partners in animal welfare, law enforcement and emergency responders,” the agency’s police chief and executive director Ross Licitra said.
Personnel from at least five separate animal rescue, animal welfare and law enforcement agencies rallied to the cause. But even with such a massive response, it took workers 15 hours to free all of the animals.
The Monmouth SPCA is now turning to the community for help, and there are several ways you can do so.
Even if you don’t live in New Jersey, you can donate to help cover the costs of caring for these dogs. You can find a link to a special donation page and additional information about where to send your payment here.
The agency is also welcoming inquires about fostering some of the dogs.
“Dogs in our care, especially in cases like this, have a much easier time adjusting to their new surroundings in a home environment rather than in a shelter,” the organization says.
If you live nearby and are interested in providing a temporary home for one of these dogs, you can send an email to: Fostering@monmouthcountyspca.org.
Finally, you can help by donating items on the shelter’s wish list. This list includes:
- small/medium dog crates
- dog toys
- Science Diet dog food
- Purina One wet puppy food
For more information about where you can drop off your donations, click here.
Finally, the Monmouth County SPCA stresses that the dogs are not yet available for adoption and it will take at least one to two weeks to determine which, if any, will be.
“The dogs we currently have need to be medically cleared, spayed/neutered, and assessed behaviorally before they will be ready to meet potential adopters,” the agency says.
In the meantime, those of you who do live in or near Monmouth County are encouraged to meet some of the SPCA’s shelter animals currently available for adoption.
It’s Sad But True
According to the ASPCA, animal hoarding occurs when someone “is housing more animals than he or she can adequately care for.” Specifically, it is defined by “an inability to provide even minimal standards of nutrition, sanitation, shelter and veterinary care—often resulting in animal starvation, illness and death.”
While extreme hoarding cases make national headlines and grab our attention, the ASPCA says there as many as 900 to 2,000 new animal hoarding cases in the United States every year. Collectively, these incidents may involve as many as 250,000 animals of varying species.
For more information about animal hoarding, including warning signs and what to do if you suspect someone you know may be overwhelmed, click here.
And please remember that no one can save all of the companion animals in need of homes in the United States. But together we can make a big difference for a few.