A Hauppauge man was arrested and his house condemned Saturday night after authorities found 27 dachshunds living in “deplorable conditions” on the property, a Suffolk County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals official said Sunday.
SPCA Chief Roy Gross said the dogs were living amid urine and feces at the Joyce Drive house, and that owner John Lowery, 57, was charged with 27 counts of animal cruelty.
Gross said Lowery was scheduled to be arraigned in First District Court in Central Islip on Sept. 2.
The dogs were discovered when Hauppauge firefighters and Suffolk County police responded about 6 p.m. to a report of a fire at the home, Gross said. The fire was believed to have started in the kitchen, but had been extinguished before firefighters arrived, Gross said. There were no injuries.
“When they [fire and police personnel] started to make entry, the dogs were trying to run out of the house,” Gross said. He said Lowery was living in the two-story home with a number of other people, and that the occupants and the dogs were “all living in deplorable conditions.”
“The smell was overwhelming,” Gross said. “The house was condemned because of the environment and the air quality. It was not habitable by humans or by animals.”
He said hazmat suits had to be used by SPCA personnel removing the dogs from the house and that the property was condemned by the Town of Islip.
Gross said the dogs were “everywhere.”
“They were on every level of the home — upstairs, downstairs, in the backyard and in a garage that had been converted into a living area,” Gross said. He said there were three puppies. “They were in the worst shape. They were covered in feces, urine and lice, and were dehydrated.”
A veterinarian for the SPCA, John Charos, said he did not go inside the home but examined the dogs, which were taken away in medical vans. He confirmed those in the worst condition were the puppies, which he said also had corneal ulcers that could have been caused by infections from urine.
Gross said the dogs were taken to an emergency clinic where they would be evaluated, treated and later put up for adoption.
“At least they can have a happy ending,” Charos said.
Lowery could not be reached for comment.