Dead animals found in shut-down shelter

June 23, 2008 8:53:18 PM PDT
Authorities made a gruesome find inside what used to be a New Jersey animal shelter, as more than a dozen dead animals were discovered packed in bags inside a freezer.The shelter is located at 480 Johnston Avenue in Jersey City.

Eyewitness News is told that the shelter was so nasty, the stench so horrific, that clean up crews had to wear protective gear from head to toe. They removed the decomposing bodies of 14 dogs and cats, as well as one goat.

"It's just a regular white freezer chest, like you'd see in someone's basement or in a food establishment, with black plastic garbage bags," said H. James Boor, of the Jersey City Health Department.

Except inside the freezer were the dead animals, coated with maggots and flies. They were taken from inside the Hudson County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), a non-profit organization that is supposed to prevent exactly this.

In January, volunteers from the shelter started complaining to Jersey City about the deplorable conditions. In April, officials shut down the facility and removed 35 live animals.

"They were cited for, at that time, lack of heat and hot water in the shelter for the animals," Jersey City spokeswoman Jennifer Morriell said.

The husband and wife running the facility were charged, but it appears that when the place was closed, no one disposed of the dead animals in the freezer. A month later, the electricity was shut off. New complaints about an unbearable stench led to the gruesome discovery.


STORY BY: Eyewitness News reporter Lucy Yang