BRICK – The two women allegedly responsible for hoarding 180 dogs and cats in a Brick Township home will not have ownership of their “personal dogs.”
Aimee J. Lonczak, 49, and Michele Nycz, 58, were charged with animal cruelty and child endangerment in December after authorities discovered nearly 180 animals in cages in a home and vehicle on Arrowhead Park Drive in Brick Township. Cats and dogs were found in cages, standing in their own feces and urine. Officials deemed these living conditions uninhabitable and the home was condemned by Brick Township code enforcement.
In addition, Lonczak’s 16-year-old daughter was living in the home with the 180 animals.
Previously, the women filed motions to have their personal dogs returned to them. They claimed that when the animals were seized by authorities, seven of the dogs personally belonged to them and wanted them released back into their care.
On February 21, an agreement was met that Nycz’s two dogs were officially surrendered to the state and would be put up for adoption. Additionally, Assistant Prosecutor Alexander Becker confirmed that one of the dogs was never under custody of the state, so this decision involves the remaining four dogs.
On March 14, an agreement was settled that Lonczak’s four dogs were also officially surrendered to the state and would be put up for adoption.
At this time, a hearing is set for April 18 to discuss the animal cruelty and child endangerment charges.
Donna Polizzi, president of NJSH Pet Rescue, was one of several concerned citizens who attended the hearing advocating for the dogs’ wellbeing. After hearing the decision, Polizzi expressed her gratification knowing the dogs can now be adopted into a loving home.
“They’ve been prisoners for two years, some of them even longer. Now they can start their lives,” Polizzi said.
NJSH Pet Rescue took in three dogs from the hoarding situation. Polizzi said that one was just recently adopted after they worked for two months to bring the dog back to a healthy state. The organization is still working with the other two dogs who have health and ear issues.
“The dedication from our volunteers and our training have been amazing. We spend every day working on something,” Polizzi said,
“There has to be some kind of justice for these dogs. I’m hoping there will be some kind of legislation in time that will protect the animals so that this doesn’t happen again,” Polizzi added.