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15 dogs rescued from North Merrick home up for adoption

Employees at the Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter,

Employees at the Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter, from left, Kyle Koegel, Jackie Panjoj and Christine Giuliani, hold some of the 15 rescued dogs that were put up for adoption at the shelter in Wantagh on Friday, July 15, 2016. The dogs were rescued from a home in Nassau County. Credit: Steve Pfost

The 15 dogs found this week in “unsanitary living conditions” are now clean, healthy and up for adoption, said Hempstead Town Animal Shelter supervisor Anthony J. Santino at a news conference Friday in Wantagh.

“What began as a sad story is rapidly becoming a tale of hope for these canine companions,” Santino said.

The 10 schnauzers, four Jack Russell terriers and one Chihuahua were taken to the shelter after they were found in the home of a North Merrick woman charged this week with animal cruelty and child endangerment of her two daughters. Police received an anonymous letter from neighbors, who initially contacted Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano’s office.

Court documents said the 15 dogs “sat in urine within their cages and were matted and caked with feces and were wet with urine,” but the daughters, who were taken to a hospital, were reported not malnourished, Nassau police said.

The dogs have received care from shelter volunteers and the town veterinarian, who confirmed the dogs were healthy and ready for adoption, Santino said.

“Animals give us unconditional love and companionship and there’s nothing better than cuddling with your BFF, your best furry friend,” Santino said. “So when you hear a report or an allegation of animal abuse, it really does break your heart.”

The dogs, ages 6 months to 5 years old, are “lovable” and “cuddly” despite all they have been through, Santino said. Some of the 15 were seen licking faces and greeting all of the reporters who came near.

Town Councilman Anthony D’Esposito said while holding one of the dogs the time has come to focus on the future rather than the dogs’ past.

All of the animals including the 15 North Merrick dogs at the 3320 Beltagh Ave. shelter can be adopted with a summer special that lasts until Sept. 5 and includes a fee waiver, free vaccinations and neutering.

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