PASSAIC COUNTY, New Jersey (WABC) -- Animal control workers in New Jersey rescued 11 dogs and one cat abandoned in a home after their owner died.
It is unknown how long the animals waited for help without food or fresh water.
When police arrived for a welfare check, they found the animals and were shocked by the living conditions in the cluttered apartment.
Rescuers say it was clear their person loved them, but the home was unkempt and the dogs never ventured outside the apartment.
The dogs were terrified when they were found. Some hid in closets, under tables and behind the toilet, while others heartbreakingly refused to leave their owner.
A very friendly senior kitty named Holly greeted police during the rescue, seemingly relieved to have found help.
Two shelters united and have taken the animals in and they are both asking for the public's help with donations or adoptions.
Both organizations are in the process of getting to know the dogs and their individual needs. Medical care will include dentals, mass removal and cardiac work-ups as well as basic medical care, which they say has been neglected for some time.
"It is a daunting task to take on 12 new arrivals at once, but thanks to our rescue partnership and your dedicated support, we knew that we could transform the world for these 12 deserving animals," said Ramapo-Bergen Animal Refuge, Inc. Executive Director Megan Brinster.
The dogs range in age from 2-7 years old, at just 5-12 pounds each, and are a mix of chihuahuas, yorkies and a mix of the breeds.
Holly the cat is believed to be 10 years old, mostly toothless and very outgoing.
A few of the dogs remain very shy, while others are warming up quickly and so grateful for the attention and comfort surrounding them. The dogs are seeking patient families, as they are not housebroken or leash trained.
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