A New Jersey woman is under arrest tonight on charges of animal cruelty after humane officers raided her Cape May County home and removed 63 dogs and one cat from deplorable conditions following a months-long investigation.
The New Jersey SPCA entered the six-acre property in rural Goshen belonging to Dawn Scheld, 46, this morning. There they found dozens of sick and malnourished dogs living in feces-and-urine-filled cages in Scheld's house and outside in pens without adequate shelter. They also found a litter of puppies in a closet, frozen water bowls and little evidence of food.
Agents dug up the bodies of six dogs buried in the backyard. One dead dog, found lying under a cloth cover next to a shallow hole, had a visible tumor near a hind leg, according to the Press of Atlantic City.
Veterinarians and area animal shelter staff members arrived on the scene to provide care for the survivors.
Scheld transported dogs from a high-kill shelter in North Carolina to her New Jersey property where she claimed to run an adoption facility called SOS Canine Rescue and Rehabilitation.
Scheld found homes for some dogs, but it was complaints from some families that adopted dogs only to later learn they had fatal illnesses that led to the investigation last summer. SPCA officials told the Cape May County Herald that Scheld had recently returned from North Carolina with five more dogs.
Scheld is being held in the Cape May County jail on $50,000 bail.
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