A dozen of the approximately 40 dogs rescued last week from a Lakewood home are doing “much better” and may soon be ready to be put up for adoption, Ocean County Health Department officials said Thursday.
The dogs were rescued from the home at 52 Spruce Street in Lakewood last week after neighbors alerted Lakewood officials to the problem. The dogs, some cakes in urine and feces, were removed from the home a week after its occupant had voluntarily turned some of the animals over to humane authorities. The conditions in the home were so bad, officials said, that some of the dogs were found inside the home’s walls, indicative of an attempt to escape.
The dogs were taken to various veterinary clinics and animal rescue organizations, but about a dozen were placed into the care of the Ocean County Health Department, which operates two shelters – one in Jackson and one in Manahawkin. A week after they were taken in by the county, officials there say the dogs are doing well and getting used to a better lifestyle.
“All of the dogs have been bathed and shaved by staff and examined by one of our veterinarians,” said Brian Lippai, Manager of the Ocean County Animal Facilities. “Many of these dog were kept completely indoors and it has been a pleasure to watch them playing in our fields at one of our facilities and truly basking in the sunshine.”
“Now that the dogs have been bathed, fed and placed in clean, comfortable areas, we’re seeing what beauties these dogs are,” said Daniel Regenye, the Ocean County Health Department’s Public Health Coordinator. “Although they were frightened when first rescued and moved, we’re beginning to see loving, playful personalities.”
Victoria Miragliotta, OCHD Director of Administration and Program Development, said that because the dogs had been living in such a difficult environment, the shelter staff began immediately working on socialization and behavioral skills. They found that the dogs, despite the hardship they went through, were mild-mannered and friendly, and will be able to be adopted.
The county shelter received more than a dozen dogs initially, but only three now remain there. The rest have been temporarily taken in by rescue organizations, with the ultimate goal being permanent adoption.
The health department says it takes adoption very serious, and asks that when families consider adopting a pet, that each family member comes to the shelter in person to meet their potential new pet. Temperament tests are conducted to assure that there is a good fit with the dog and the entire family.
“These dogs have been through a lot and we want them to be welcomed into a permanent, loving family,” Regenye said.