SHAMONG TWP, N.J. (WTXF) - A New Jersey community wants to know why it took so long to save hundreds of dogs from what they call a "house of horrors."
"This has been going on for a long time. Lot of people gave up, thankfully we didn't," said Dr. Ernie Lazos, who spoke to the township council and Mayor Michael Di Croce Tuesday.
Lazos lives up the road from the property in Shamong Township where authorities say his neighbor 65-year-old Donna Roberts kept more than 200 dogs in deplorable and inhuman conditions. He says he could hear the dogs crying from his home and that local authorities failed to act on community complaints, which he says he has documented over the past decade.
"We put a lot of pressure on we went around the township," Lazos said. "It was a pressure builder."
More than 60 residents and animal lovers gathered to grill the mayor and council people.
Officials insisted they took appropriate action within a year of Lazo's complaint, passing a local ordinance that led to Robert's arrest for animal cruelty.
"We think this is an aberration and personally want to apologize to everyone in our community," said Mayor Michael Di Croce.
Area shelters are reaching out for donations, supplies and potential fosters as they face a massive influx of neglected dogs. A list of shelters that have taken in dogs from the Shamong Township rescue and are accepting donations can be found below.