180 Animals Rescued From Puppy Mill in Ocean County, NJ
Authorities in Ocean County say 135 dogs and 45 cats were removed from a puppy mill Friday night.
According to the Brick Township Police Department, their officers responded to a home on Arrowhead Park Drive in reference to an anonymous complaint that the residents there were running a puppy mill.
The officers met with the two residents, Aimee Lonczak (49 years old) and Michele Nycz (58 years old), in the driveway where the four had a conversation about the nature of the complaint. While speaking with Lonczak and Nycz, officers could smell a strong odor coming from the residence and they could hear barking.
The officers were subsequently permitted to enter the residence and immediately noticed a strong odor and unsanitary conditions.
Officials say the officers observed stacks of animal crates on top of each other with dogs and cats in the crates.
Because of the conditions, officers were forced to exit and a Hazmat team respond.
Once emergency response teams were able to get into the home it became apparent that the number of animals was in excess of 100. The home was full of animal waste and the animals were living in horrible and inhumane conditions. At least two animals removed were deceased - both were dogs.
Over the course of ten hours, 135 dogs and 45 cats removed from the home.
Lonczak and Nycz, who were living inside the residence with Lonczak’s 16-year-old child, were both arrested for animal cruelty and child endangerment.
The investigation is ongoing and additional charges may be filed.
The residence was subsequently condemned by the Brick building and code department.
The public is reminded that charges are accusations and all persons are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.