61 dogs rescued from NJ house of horrors

The Monmouth County SPCA says it rescued 61 small dogs including puppies and several pregnant dogs that were living in horrific conditions in Belford, New Jersey.  (SEE MORE PHOTOS BELOW)

Many of the dogs were matted in their own urine and feces and could barely walk in excrement filled kennels. Others were just hours old. The dogs were forced to drink out of dirty water bowls, according to the SPCA.

A family member of the dogs' owner tipped them off through the agency's cruelty hotline on Tuesday. 

Workers for the agency had to wear full personal protective equipment and use ammonia to aid in removing the dogs and bringing them to the Monmouth County SPCA shelter.

"We are appalled and saddened by what we found today and will be sure to bring the highest count of charges allowable by law forward to this individual," said the SPCA.  "Special thanks to Middletown Township Police Department and Middletown Animal Control for providing extra assistance throughout the ordeal."

Marlene Sandford, 66, of Middletown, could face fines and six months in jail if she is found guilty, reported NJ.com.  Sandford was previously charged in 2009 with 81 counts of animal cruelty for hoarding more than 100 dogs, according to CentralJersey.com.

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All the dogs will require medical attention, grooming, spaying and neutering, vaccines, microchips, and adoption. The agency is asking for donations to help to care for the dogs.  Visit MonmouthCountySPCA.org.