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SPCA: Bohemia couple arrested after 34 dogs rescued from feces-covered home

Suffolk County SPCA Chief Roy Gross says personnel

Suffolk County SPCA Chief Roy Gross says personnel had to wear hazmat suits to enter a house on Blake Avenue in Bohemia where they rescued small, mixed-breed dogs. Credit: Bryan Lopez

A husband and wife from Bohemia were arrested Friday on animal neglect charges after 34 dogs were rescued from their feces-covered home that was infested by rats, according to the Suffolk County SPCA.

Louis and Phillis VanDyken face the misdemeanor charge, said Chief Roy Gross with the Suffolk SPCA. Complaints led authorities to the couple’s home on Blake Avenue on Friday morning, Gross said.

Gross said personnel with his department had to wear hazmat suits to enter the home where they rescued small, mixed-breed dogs that were in poor condition.

"These people were living in the home with the dogs and rats," Gross said. "The house was pretty much covered in feces. At least a dozen rats were discovered in the house. The dogs were matted, many of them urine-soaked. Some looked like they had injuries, others had respiratory problems or other problems."

Multiple agencies helped his department rescue the dogs including the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office, Suffolk County police and the Islip Town Fire Marshal, Gross said.

The rescued dogs were taken to the Islip Animal Shelter where they will be treated and groomed and later put up for adoption, Gross said.

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