Family reunites with lost dog rescued from cruel conditions in Brick, NJ
BRICK — A family has been reunited with a lost dog who ended up trapped in a filthy township home run by a pair of rescuers who have been charged with child and animal cruelty.
Rocky, a 2-year-old collie, was returned to his family Saturday at the Ocean County Health Department after being "lost" for seven months. After being cleaned and bathed, Rusty was reacquainted with his family.
"I will say that was a phenomenal day," Ocean County Health Department Coordinator Dan Regenye said.
When officers first entered the home on Dec. 2, they were overwhelmed by the stench of feces and urine coming from stacked animal cages encrusted in waste. Rescuers removed 135 dogs and 45 cats from the property.
Brick police have asked anyone who believes their pet may have been inside the house to contact them via email at email@example.com. Regenye said they are doing due diligence.
Many of the animals that are chipped have the address of Aimee Lonczak and Michele Nycz, who ran the Crazy Rescue Ladies organization.
Ocean County Assistant Prosecutor Alexander Becker said during the Lonczak and Nycz's detention hearing on Dec. 9 that he has received calls from Florida, Georgia and North Carolina about animals that came from their respective states to the home in Brick.
Adoptions have started for the 180 dogs & cats
Adoptions have also started with several cats and dogs that were already spayed and neutered, the first to be available after the shelter made sure their vaccinations were up-to-date.
"I know over the weekend we started working with some of the dogs. We had both of our veterinarians working on them and spaying and neutering. Probably by the end of this week, we may have some available to go out as well. The staff are working phenomenally hard and to keep everything on track and it's going very well," Regenye said.
Regenye praised the staff and volunteers of the county animal facilities for their hard work. Support and donations from the community serve to energize the staff, who Regenye said has made "phenomenal progress" to prepare the dogs and cats for adoption.
The adoption process is a fairly quick one that starts with asking about the home situation with other pets and children.
"Do they own their home? Do they rent their home? If they rent it does their lease allow them to have pets? We try to match them from the perspective," Regenye said. "It is a thorough process because what we don't want is for that dog to come back to us or somewhere else."
Volunteer groups within the Northern facility in Jackson and the Southern facility in the Manahawkin section of Stafford have also helped and will bring the animals to adoption events.
"We have a large network of rescues and volunteer groups that we've worked with historically and I think that continues. It will go a long way to get these animals into a great home," Regenye said.
Lonczak and Nycz were released at a detention hearing. They may not have contact with any animals nor return to their house.