Cops Alerted to Alleged Puppy Mill Smelled Odor From Driveway

They say 180 animals were found in Brick Township home in New Jersey
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 5, 2022 10:55 AM CST
Cops Alerted to Alleged Puppy Mill Smelled Odor From Driveway
Stock photo.   (Getty Images / paisan191)

New Jersey police officers who arrived at a Brick Township home Friday night after receiving a tip about a possible puppy mill spoke with two women in the home's driveway—and could smell what was inside, reports NJ.com. Upon entering the home, the stench and conditions were such that a Hazmat team was called in. Brick Township Police said in a press release that the initial suspicion that the home held 30 animals turned out to be way off. Authorities say Aimee Lonczak, 49, and Michele Nycz, 58, have been charged with animal cruelty after 180 animals—135 of them dogs, the rest cats—were found in the Arrowhead Park Drive home.

"The home was full of animal waste and the animals were living in horrible and inhumane conditions," police said in a statement. "At least two animals removed were deceased." They say it took roughly 10 hours to remove all the animals from the home; they were taken to area shelters and the house was subsequently condemned. NJ.com cites public tax documents that show the women are associated with Crazy Rescue Ladies, a purported animal rescue group with tax-exempt nonprofit status. Police say the women were also charged with child endangerment in connection with Lonczak’s 16-year-old daughter, who lives in the home.

NBC New York spoke to a number of neighbors, one of whom said that while they would "occasionally ... smell something," they "never suspected [there were] more than a hundred animals inside. Never suspected more than 10." Others described the women as animal lovers, but another neighbor suggested it might have been more obvious there was an issue: "We've come to understand they were living in their vehicles because the conditions in the house were so bad." (Read more animal cruelty stories.)

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