PATERSON, NJ (1,010 WINS) — Animal Control rescued 19 sick dogs from a breeding mill in the basement of an abandoned Paterson mansion on Tuesday, police said.
Police believe the mill was run by squatters in the mansion. They arrested a suspect, whose name has not yet been released.
The basement was riddled with signs of abuse. Feces littered the floor, claw marks indicated where the dogs were trying to escape and the animals were kept in cages far too small for their size, police said.
Several of the older dogs needed medical attention after being rescued, authorities said.
“Just a day ago, these 19 dogs were living in filth and misery for the sole purpose of breeding,” the Ramapo-Bergen Animal Refuge wrote on Facebook. “Today they have a new lease of life, thanks to the rescue.”
The shelter partners with the Second Chance Pet Adoption League to find homes for the dogs.
“Like most dogs from puppy mills or kennels, they likely have no idea about housebreaking and will need patience and crate training to adapt,” the agency wrote. of adoption on Facebook. “They all seem to be dog-friendly and have been co-housed, so another well-matched dog buddy in the house can help them learn the ropes as they settle in.”
Animal Control is conducting DNA testing to determine if the dogs rescued on Tuesday are linked to other recent rescues in New York and New Jersey involving German Shepherds.
“Who did this? Paterson Police have identified the man who was allegedly crouching in the seized estate. He is believed to be a repeat offender,” the shelter wrote in its Facebook post. German Shepherds we’ve rescued over the past year – abandoned in New Jersey and New York.”