FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Bruce Sanchez
AHS Rescues Dogs from Unlicensed Kennel
HOWELL TOWNSHIP, NJ – The scene was disturbing, but not entirely unexpected for Bruce Sanchez, General Manager at Associated Humane Societies’ Tinton Falls Animal Care Center -- over 200 little Chihuahuas stacked up in two-foot by two-foot cages and Shar Peis, some sick, many unkempt and all seemingly oblivious to their lifestyle.
Below is one of the indoor kennel areas where the Chihuahuas at Windsong Kennels are kept.
“These dogs could hear their neighbors barking, but never ever had a chance to interact or play with them. They had never been released from the cages. They were there to live, breed and die,” Sanchez said. It’s what he and AHS staff members, as well as other animal control and law enforcement officers saw at the Windsong Acres Kennel on Lanes Pond Road, before removing and rescuing 49 of the dogs last week.
All 49 of the dogs were immediately taken to the AHS Animal Care Center in Tinton Falls. Some were then relocated to other eligible and available animal rescue agencies. Sanchez said many of the dogs needed some type of veterinary care. All needed socialization.
“All of the Shar Peis we brought in had heartworm, a potentially deadly and easily preventable disease,” Sanchez said.
“We’ve taken in these animals and are caring for all of them ourselves. We’re providing the veterinary care, spaying and neutering the animals, and hopefully finding good homes for them. It’s a great workload for our staff and a financial hardship as well, especially in these tough economic times,” Sanchez said. “But somehow the public doesn’t seem to know that these dogs are with us. They’re calling the SPCA and other agencies, asking to adopt them and how to donate to help, and are then being redirected to us.”
Sanchez said the ultimate goal is to get most of the other dogs removed from Windsong Acres. The property is owned by Edith Buchko, who lost her license to run a kennel there two years ago because of unsanitary conditions.
Animal control officers and local health officials entered the property last week to remove the animals, which Mrs. Buchko was voluntarily giving up. Under township ordinance, residents may have as many as 165 dogs, but must each have an updated license. Officials say Mrs. Buchko was simply overwhelmed with caring for so many dogs.
Sanchez said they expect to remove at least 100 more dogs from the facility in the near-term. Those dogs, too, will all start the rest of their lives at the Associated Humane Societies Animal Care Center in Tinton Falls.
According to Roseann Trezza, Executive Director of Associated Humane Societies, the agency is working closely with other rescue organizations to take in many of the dogs after they are examined by the Societies’ veterinary staff. But they will only be sent to no-kill facilities that will care for the dogs and will carefully screen potential new owners.
“These little dogs have been through so much in their short lives. Our obligation as animal advocates is to see that for all of these pups, the rest of their lives are spent in a happy caring forever home,” Ms. Trezza said. “But we are appealing to those who want to help, but cannot take in a pet, to support our efforts with donations of supplies or funds.”
Please donate today to help support our rescue, treatment and care of all these dogs. Donations can also be mailed or delivered to AHS, 2960 Shafto Road in Tinton Falls 07753 or our other branches at 124 Evergreen Ave., Newark 07114 or Popcorn Park at Humane Way, P O Box 43, Forked River, N J 08731.
Those interested in adopting one of these dogs can visit the Tinton Falls Animal Care Center at 2960 Shafto Road. Shelter hours are noon to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday and noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.