HUNTERDON COUNTY, New Jersey (WABC) -- More than 200 dogs were rescued from what authorities are calling a massive hoarding situation on a property in New Jersey.
The Monmouth County SPCA and St. Hubert's Animal Welfare Center were called to a home at an undisclosed location in Kingwood Township in Hunterdon County around 8 a.m. Tuesday.
Authorities say they seized 188 animals that were living in squalor and seemingly had limited human contact and minimal to no veterinary care, along with 30 dogs previously surrendered by the homeowners and an additional 20 found dead in a freezer.
"While they executed a search warrant, we held back," St. Hubert's Vice President of Life Saving Care Becky Burton said. "It took us about six hours to clear the property of all the dogs, several buildings."
The dogs were mostly Jack Russell Terriers.
"It probably became overwhelming for an individual or two to take care of that many dogs," St. Hubert's Good Will Ambassador Nora Parker said. "Many them are dirty and will need some coat care and some trimming. But we're happy that the medical teams are reporting back that they're not finding anything that can't be treated."
Martin Strozeski, 66, and 70-year-old Marcia Knoster, both of Stockton, have been charged with one count of third-degree failing to provide necessary care to 22 dogs, thereby resulting in their death; one count of fourth-degree failing to provide necessary care to 188 dogs, resulting in bodily injury; and one count of failing to provide necessary care to 188 dogs, a disorderly person offense.
Animal officials are now asking for public donations and support to get the dogs vaccinated, de-wormed and microchipped, along with any other additional medical care they'll need in the future, including spay/neuter surgeries.
They say some of the dogs are pregnant and have masses and infections.
Donations can be made directly through Facebook, or checks can be mailed to:
260 Wall Street
Eatontown NJ 07724
As for shelter items, the dogs are in need of blankets, towels, sheets, dog toys, paper towels, cleaning supplies and dog food/treats.
Donations can be dropped off at our Eatonton shelter, and there is also an Amazon Wish List.
Several dogs are eligible for foster homes. If you are able to foster a dog, please email Fostering@monmouthcountyspca.org.
The dogs are not currently up for adoption, and there is no timetable for when they will be available for forever homes. But officials remind the public that they have plenty of dogs and cats waiting patiently at shelters.