BRICK — About 190 dogs and cats taken from what authorities described as an alleged illegal puppy mill operation in Brick need pet shampoo, treats, toys, and cat and dog beds, according to the Ocean County Health Department, which is caring for the animals.
The animals, which were seized Saturday from a home at 111 Arrowhead Park Drive, appear to be in relatively good health, said Brian Lippai, spokesman for the health department.
However, "they're filthy," he said.
The animals are being housed in the health department's two main animal facilities in Jackson and Stafford, as well as an emergency overflow shelter in Barnegat, Lippai said.
"Most of them seemed to be friendly and in decent shape," he said.
But on Saturday, Brick police described the animal's environment in the home as unhealthy and filthy. Animals were stacked into crates and the house was "full of animal waste", according to Brick police spokesman Sgt. James Kelly.
Police found two dead dogs inside the house and sent another eight animals for emergency veterinarian care.
The Brick Building and Code Department has since condemned the house.
Lippai said the animals seized from the home are not available for adoption and remain the property of Aimee Lonczak, 49 and Michele Nycz, 58. Both women face charges of animal cruelty as well as child endangerment related to Lonczak's 16-year old child living in the home, according to police.
If a judge transfers ownership of the animals to the Ocean County Health Department, the pets could adopted after an evaluation for temperament and health, Lippai said. There is not yet a definitive timetable for that decision.
Donations can be made by calling the Northern Ocean County Animal Facility in Jackson at 732-657-8086 or the Southern Ocean County Animal Facility in Stafford at 609-978-0127. Pet food will not be accepted in order to keep the animals on a consistent diet.
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Amanda Oglesby is an Ocean County native who covers Brick, Barnegat and Lacey townships as well as the environment. She has worked for the Press for more than a decade. Reach her at @OglesbyAPP, firstname.lastname@example.org or 732-557-5701.
This article originally appeared on Asbury Park Press: Brick 'puppy mill' pets need supplies, toys: Shelter