More than a dozen dachshunds rescued from a filthy, crowded Hauppauge home over the weekend are now up for adoption at a Port Jefferson Station animal shelter, rescuers said Monday.
Save-A-Pet Animal Shelter in Port Jefferson Station is housing 16 of the 27 dogs found in a Joyce Drive home on Saturday.
When the shelter received the dogs, they were covered in feces and urine, and their coats were matted into uncomfortable knots, shelter president Dori Scofield said at a news conference Monday.
“We gave them two baths,” she said. “I think we need to give them a third.”
The remaining dogs are at the Islip Animal Shelter and also will be adopted out, said Roy Gross, chief of the Suffolk County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
“What you’re looking at now is unbelievable, the difference of what they looked like when they were there, compared to what they look like now,” Gross said of the dachshunds, now clean and wagging their tails.
The dogs had been living in “unbelievable” and “deplorable” conditions before their rescue, Gross said. Hauppauge firefighters and Suffolk County police responding to a house fire on Joyce Drive had found “a number of dogs that were trying to get out,” Gross said.
The first responders “were overcome with major odor and they realized that something was wrong,” Gross said.
The fire was extinguished before firefighters arrived, and there were no injuries, he said.
SPCA responders had to don hazmat suits to recover the dogs from the house, which the Town of Islip has now condemned, according to Gross.
The home’s owner John Lowery, 57, was charged with 27 counts of animal cruelty — each punishable by up to one year in prison or $1,000 in fines. He is scheduled to be arraigned Sept. 2 in First District Court in Central Islip, Gross said.
The dogs, which were not malnourished despite their poor living conditions, are now recovering comfortably, though they’re not quite ready for adoption, Scofield said.
“They were obviously breeding in that house and none of them were fixed,” she said. “They’re all going to get spayed, neutered, vaccinated, microchipped and checked thoroughly by our veterinarian.”
Save-A-Pet is taking adoption applications online and already has received 100 calls from people eager to adopt, Scofield said. The shelter is looking for “responsible homes that will provide veterinary care” for the dachshunds, Scofield said.
The dogs range from 1 year to 12 years in age, and are good with children, she said.
“These dachshunds are some of the most amazingly friendly, sweet animals I’ve ever gotten,” Scofield said.