More than 60 dogs and cats — alive and dead — have been removed form a northern New Jersey home where they were living in "deplorable" conditions, officials said.
Authorities went to the two-story home on Hillcrest Place in North Bergen on Wednesday after a tenant allegedly failed to appear in court on a series of summonses issued in recent weeks.
Officials said 32 dogs, 17 puppies, two cats and three kittens were taken out alive.
Eleven dead cats and one dead dog were removed from the home in trash bags.
Authorities said the home's interior was covered with urine and feces, and there was no furniture inside. They are investigating the matter as a case of hoarding.
A warrant has been issued for the arrest of homeowner Juan Perez.
Carol Delforno, one of the neighbors who reported the conditions to authorities, said the negligence has been apparent since at least last summer.
"When they all start barking at once, it was chilling," she said. "The stench has just been progressively getting worse."
The animals, including tiny playful puppies, many of them Labradors, have been placed with the Bergen County Protect and Rescue, based in Cliffside Park.
"It's one of the largest ones we've ever done," rescue center worker Vinny Ascolese said. "Despite the conditions they were found in, the 49 dogs are doing well."
Anyone interested in adopting one of the rescued animals can visit their website at bcrescues.org.