May 5,2012 Update NJ SPCA
Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 August 2011 12:15 Written by Staff Reports Wednesday, 10 August 2011 12:05
MIDDLE TOWNSHIP – They are sad and lonely. They want to be around people. Most of all, the dogs just want a good home.
Since December, seven dogs have lived in cages at the Cape May County Animal Shelter at the Crest Haven Complex, Cape May Court House. Another one arrived at the shelter later.
They can’t be adopted – just yet.
They were among 60 dogs that were rescued when officers with the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals raided a Goshen Road home in Cape May Court House Dec. 18, 2010. The animals had been living in deplorable conditions, officials contend, and some had even died.
Over half of the 60 dogs, still owned by Dawn Marie Scheld, 46, of Goshen Road, Cape May Court House, were taken to area shelters, where they remain. The animal cruelty case involving four defendants is still winding its way through the court system, with a status conference slated for next month.
In the meantime, the animals suffer, Cape May County Animal Shelter shelter manager Judy Davies said.
She said the staff has no time to give the dogs personal training. And the dogs are unfortunately unlearning how to socialize, she said.
For her, the circumstances are frustrating.
Shelter animal attendant Crystal Blackburn agrees, calling the situation “ridiculous.”
Davies wants the dogs to be signed over, so they can be adopted out.
Blackburn said the dogs are “sweet,” and that just one of them isn’t good with other dogs.
As of Monday, Aug. 8, Davies said 15 percent of the dogs at the shelter are from the animal cruelty case. Forty of the dogs aren’t from the case, she said.
“So that’s significant,” she said.
That percentage has hovered from 20 to 15 percent since last year, she said. Davies expects the situation to continue an additional four or five months. The waiting game continues.
A status conference, which will include several motions, is set for Friday, Sept. 9, at the Cape May County Courthouse at 9 North Main Street in Cape May Court House.
According to a state Superior Court indictment, filed in May, Dawn Marie Scheld; Leroy Thomas Jr., 46; Leann Thomas, 18; and Kevin Scheld,24, were charged with conspiracy to commit animal cruelty.
On Dec. 18, 2010, SPCA, with support from the township police, seized 60 dogs, two cats and one bird from SOS Rescue and Rehabilitation, also called Karma Kennel. Officials allege that the animals had lived in deplorable conditions: feces and urine covering the floors, along with a strong ammonia smell.
Many dogs were sick, and some were malnourished. Some of the females were pregnant as well.
The Humane Society of Atlantic County and the Atlantic County SPCA also took part in
the Dec. 18 raid.