BRICK – Police have arrested two residents during an investigation into an alleged illegal puppy mill operation at a residential home at 111 Arrowhead Park Drive where a total of 180 animals have been found.
According to authorities, many of the scores of animals found at the home were in very poor physical health and being kept in very inhumane conditions. Two dogs were found dead and eight animals were sent for emergency veterinary care.
Brick police spokesman Sgt. James Kelly said emergency crews removed animals from the home for more than 10 hours.
"The home was full of animal waste and the animals were living in horrible and inhumane conditions," Kelly said.
Aimee Lonczak, 49 and Michele Nycz, 58, were living at the home along with Lonczak's 16-year old child. Lonczak and Nycz were arrested for animal cruelty and child endangerment, Kelly said. More charges could be brought upon the two as the investigation continues, authorities said.
The residence was also condemned by the Brick Building and Code Department.
At 7:30 P.M. on Friday, Brick Police humane law enforcement officer Scott Smith and officer Brennan Lanni responded to the home after an anonymous complaint that the residents there were running a puppy mill.
The officers met with the two residents in their driveway where the two officers could smell a strong odor coming from the home and they could hear dogs barking.
The officers were subsequently permitted to enter the residence and immediately noticed a strong odor and unsanitary conditions. Kelly said the officers observed stacks of animal crates on top of each other with dogs and cats in the crates. Because of the conditions, the officers were forced to exit and requested that a Hazmat team respond.
Initially, officers estimated that there were approximately 30 animals contained in the single-story home. Once emergency response teams were able to get into the home it became apparent that the number of animals was in excess of 100.
All told, emergency responders removed 135 dogs and 45 cats. Kelly said they were a mixture of different sizes, ages and breeds.
Dozens of township police, fire and EMS, along with Berkeley HAZMAT crews and the Ocean County Sherriff's Department were parked outside the home Saturday. A few neighbors were also out in their yards and expressed anger with the home but declined to speak on the record with an Asbury Park Press reporter.
Along with emergency response teams, nine animal rescue teams from Monmouth and Ocean county responded to the home. Kelly said the animals are being taken to a few different shelters.
When Jersey Shore native Dan Radel is not reporting the news, you can find him in a college classroom where he is a history professor. Reach him @danielradelapp; 732-643-4072; email@example.com.
This article originally appeared on Asbury Park Press: Brick NJ 'puppy mill' on Arrowhead Park Drive busted