CLIFTON — Workers rescued more than 60 dogs Friday after a fire ravaged their owner's Staten Island home, where neighbors said they'd long complained about overcrowded conditions.
Animal Care & Control rescued 68 small dogs from a Bowen Street home, which had been a source of noise and smell for years, officials and neighbors said. ACC officials said the dogs were checked out by their medical team, and will remain in ACC care while the case is investigated.
“Everybody complained about it, and nothing was done,” said Joe Evans, 69, who lives next to the home, and who said the dogs were a Shih Tzu breed. “I gave up after three years.”
The fire in the home began at around 9:30 p.m. Friday night, and firefighters who responded found the animals living in hoarding conditions, NY1 reported.
The FDNY said the blaze was put out 20 minutes later, and no injuries were reported. The cause of the fire is still under investigation by fire marshals, a spokeswoman for the FDNY said.
The owners of the home could not be reached for comment.
On Monday, a notice to vacate was posted on the front door of the home, and neighbors said they haven’t seen the owners since Saturday.
Dupree Anderson, a cab driver who lives nearby, said she saw the animals being sold in the front yard to passersby.
“They used to be right in the front yard. They stunk,” Anderson said.
Evans said the owners released the dogs into the front yard three times each day, and the whole neighborhood was filled with barking.
“All you heard was 'yip, yip, yip, yip,' all day,” he said.
Evans said since the dogs were taken away on early Saturday morning, "It's been nice and quiet."