130 dogs, cats rescued from alleged puppy mill

130 dogs, cats rescued from alleged puppy mill in New Jersey

SCOTCH PLAINS, N.J. — A suspected puppy mill has been shut down in Scotch Plains, New Jersey, and more than 130 dogs and cats were rescued Monday.

Investigators were alerted to the situation thanks to an anonymous tip. They found the animals locked in cages in unsanitary conditions, officials said.

Officials found 71 Chihuahuas, 18 golden retrievers, 17 Pomeranians and three Pekingese, WNBC reported.

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It also included about 24 cats, WPIX reported.

The animals ranged in age from newborns to fully grown, WPIX reported.

Some of the animals were pregnant, others had dental injuries, severe dehydration, infections and ocular discharge.

Dominick Ciabattari is accused of operating a puppy mill. He faces charges for not providing proper care to the animals, but more charges may be filed, WNBC reported.

Police said that mattresses were used to soundproof the home and so neighbors could not hear the noise coming from the cages that were in the kitchen, closet and basement of the home.

FILE PHOTO: Police in New Jersey say they have shut down an alleged puppy mill.
FILE PHOTO: Police in New Jersey say they have shut down an alleged puppy mill. (unknown/Getty Images/iStockphoto)