Union City police, animal control officers, save estimated 51 animals from apartment
Jan 11, 2018 | 1640 views | 0 0 comments | 94 94 recommendations | email to a friend | print
UNION CITY – Local police, volunteers, and animal control officials saved an estimated 33 poodles, 15 birds, and three cats from a roach-infested apartment Wednesday evening.

The owner voluntarily relinquished ownership of the dogs, police said. Her brother agreed to take ownership of the cats and birds. The apartment was located on 48th Street.

Union City police first made the shocking discovery while responding to a water main break in the two-bedroom apartment, according to Geoffrey Santini, a local animal control officer for North Hudson.

Called for assistance, Santini, who runs the New Jersey Humane Society shelter in West New York, brought his employees and two North Bergen High School students to help rescue the dogs.

Santini described the apartment's conditions as "horrible." "It's a hoarding apartment," he said, as officers repeatedly emerged from the apartment building with more dogs.

"There was no bed, no stove, no sink. Everything was piled on top of each other. The poor dogs were running around the place."

According to Santini, many of the dogs were fully matted, and suffering from eye infections.

Some of the dogs were also removed from the building in roach-infested cages.

Officers also found two female dogs with three puppies, ranging from hours to just a week old, Santini said.

The dogs were later taken to Santini's shelter to get washed. A vet will come to the shelter to evaluate and document each dog.

The owner could face animal cruelty changes, based on the vet's reports, Santini said.

Though he did not call it one of the worst cases, Santini called it "one of the largest we've had. It's a shame to have all those poodles locked up in an apartment, and they weren't being taken care of. There was food and water strewn on the floor. That's not the way you take care of the animals."

The rescue comes less than two weeks after Santini teamed with volunteers and North Bergen police to rescue three abandoned puppies from a trucking company lot, in freezing temperatures.
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