The State Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals raided a Middle Township Home around 10 a.m. on Saturday, finding 57 dogs on the property, including the dead bodies of six and at least 20 living in terrible conditions.
"The dogs are malnourished, the pens are not clean and there's no fresh water," said Frank Rizzo of the N.J. State SPCA Police. "The conditions inside the home are what you'd typically see in a hoarding situation."
According to authorities, the house, located on the 700 block of Goshen Road, smelled of ammonia and was covered with the feces and urine of the animals. Various breeds were found, including pit bulls, collies, labs and shih tzus.
Police arrested the homeowner, 46-year-old Dawn Scheld, who was not present when the house was raided. Police plan on charging her with various cases of animal cruelty. She is being held in custody at the Cape May Courthouse on $50,000 bail.
Authorities say that Scheld used Internet sites to find animals to adopt from adoption groups and animal lovers. Some of her dogs were shelter animals.
"We've been here repeatedly since August of this year," said Rizzo. "We tried to remediate the problem with the homeowner. We were unable to get any cooperation."SPCA veterinarians are currently treating the surviving dogs, cleaning them and feeding them. They plan on eventually finding homes for the animals.
Animal humane groups rescue 57 dogs from Cape May County hoarder situation - Examiner