Nineteen dogs used for breeding were rescued from the basement of a once-shining mansion in New Jersey, rescue officials said.
The 16 German Shepherds and three Dobermans were found weak and malnourished being kept in cramped cages of the feces-covered home in Paterson, officials from RBARI said. Evidence on the cages shows that the dogs tried to escape, said the rescue that worked alongside Second Chance Pet Adoption League.
One dog tried digging through the basement floor in an effort to get out, NorthJersey.com reports.
The dogs may be connected to the German Shepherds rescued in the last year, abandoned throughout New Jersey and New York, the rescue said. Paterson police identified the man believed to have been squatting in the foreclosed estate, and believe he is a repeat offender.
The dogs are a range of ages, from young adults to seniors in need of immediate car, and the breeder left with at least one puppy.
Daphne is one of the oldest of the dogs rescued, Second Chance said. Used for breeding, most of her teeth are missing, worn down or broken. Her hips are weak and her eyes cloudy.
Daphne's ears are chronically infected and the tips eaten off by flies over the years.
"She just seems exhausted physically and mentally," the rescue said. "Tonight for the first time in probably her whole life she has clean soft bedding and her life will only get better from here. She has been a complete love and already giving kisses and leaning in for attention."
"Just a day ago, these 19 dogs were living in filth and squalor with the sole purpose of breeding," RBARI said. "Today, they have a new lease on life, with thanks to rescue."
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