19 dogs rescued from old mansion in Paterson, NJ
PATERSON – 19 dogs living in complete filth who were part of a puppy mill were removed from the former Barbour Mansion on Tuesday.
Police were called to the 5.5-acre estate on 39th Street on Tuesday after a buyer reported seeing a squatter on the property. Officers from the Passaic County Sheriff’s Office and a buyer’s representative discovered four Dobermans and 15 German Shepherds.
Animal control officer John DeCando told New Jersey 101.5 that some of the dogs were “old” with wonky legs and living in their own filth in the basement he described as a “dungeon.” There was diarrhea on many of the walls in the house, according to DeCando.
“It was a disaster. There was no light in the basement. Black, black. It was like walking into a dark room. That’s how those dogs lived,” DeCando said.
No puppies sign
DeCando said it appears the dogs are breeding and the puppies have been removed from the home. There was no sign of the puppies also living at the house.
“He’s some shit trying to make money,” DeCando said. “There are no mean animals in the world. There are mean people in the world. We know who they belong to. You can run but you can’t hide.”
Despite their horrible conditions, the dogs had a very friendly disposition. Four have already been placed with foster families.
“They’re excellent. They’re beautiful. They’d lick you to death,” DeCando said. “I’m sure they’re happy where they are now.”
The dogs were examined by the Second Chance Pet Adoption League in the Oak Ridge section of New Milford, who also described the dogs as having wagging tails and grateful for any attention. They will eventually be put up for adoption by other rescues, according to the League.
“Like most puppy mill/breeding dogs, they likely have no idea about housebreaking and will need patience and crate training to adapt,” the league said.
Physically and mentally exhausted
Daphne, the oldest German Shepherd, is between 8 and 10 years old and is an example of how the dogs were found. She slept on clean, soft bedding, likely for the first time on Tuesday night, according to the league.
“Most of her teeth are missing, worn or broken. Her hips seem weak, her eyes cloudy, her thin fur on her face, her ears chronically infected and the tips eaten away by flies over the years. She just seems physically and mentally exhausted,” the group posted on its Facebook page.
DeCando said the mansion was once a beautiful showcase with 14 fireplaces, a library and a wraparound staircase. Nobody lived there for 15 to 20 years, he said.
“It was absolutely gorgeous. Gorgeous,” DeCando said.
Dan Alexander is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at [email protected]
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