More than 25 puppies were found crammed on top of each other in an overheated van outside a Walmart store, horrified animal shelter staff confirmed.
The animals were stuffed into two crates and left in the vehicle as the temperature topped 90 degrees outside.
The 26 puppies, all bulldogs which can fetch up to $3,000, were severely dehydrated when they were found in Garfield on Saturday.
Animal shelter staff were horrified to find 26 bulldogs had been packed into crates in the back of a van
Debrorah Yankow, from the Bergen County Animal Shelter, said the short-nosed pups are susceptible to dehydration, and ‘literally jumped into the water bottles’
They were taken to the Bergen County Animal Shelter, where staff were stunned by the way they had been treated.
Debrorah Yankow, director of animal services, told CBS2: ‘They were literally on top of each other. It was a ninety degree day, they were all overheated.’
She said the short-nosed pups are susceptible to dehydration, and ‘literally jumped into the water bottles’.
The 26 puppies were severely dehydrated when they were left in a van outside the Walmart store
Animal shelter staff were shocked at the conditions they found the puppies being kept in
She said paperwork found in the van has led investigators to believe the animals had been imported from Colombia, and they may have been on their way to Florida.
The dogs have now been taken to the county shelter in Teterboro, were they are being kept in isolation.
Yankow told CBS2 she fears there could be similar networks across the US, saying she has since been contacted by another animal control agency in New Jersey.
The puppies are going to be in isolation for at least three weeks, and it is not known if and when they will be available for adoption
Following a huge number of enquiries about the puppies, Bergen County Animal Shelter posted on Facebook: ‘Thank you for everyone’s concern regarding these puppies.
‘They are going to be in isolation for at least 3 weeks, they have not been vaccinated and we must be certain they are healthy. In addition, they are part of an active investigation being conducted by the Bergen County SPCA.
‘We do not know at this time if they will be available.’