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13 Dogs, 2 Cats Rescued From 'Living Hell' In Rockville Centre

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- Authorities say 13 dogs and two cats had to be rescued from a home described as a "living hell" on Long Island. It is the second incident of its kind that took place in Rockville Centre this week.

The animals were found inside the Montauk Avenue home along with carcasses of 26 other animals, including dogs, ferrets, cats and birds, Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray told 1010 WINS.

Animal Cruely Accused
Faith Ross (L), Francesca Maselli (R) (Photo/Nassau Co. Police)

A mother and daughter -- 54-year-old Faith Ross and 23-year-old Francesca-Marie Maselli -- were arrested and arraigned Saturday afternoon. Rockville Centre police said the women were charged with both felony and misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty.

Murray described the gruesome scene inside the home, now declared uninhabitable.

"It absolutely looked like a living hell that they were housed in. What we saw also was that some live dogs and some carcasses that we saw had muzzles that were taped shut," she said.

Town officials were alerted to the situation after police were called to the house for a gas leak on Friday. Police then called Hemptstead Town Animal Control.

"What our officers saw was one of the most horrific, horrendous scenes we have ever seen in the history of our animal shelter," Murray said.

Neighbors said the women who were arrested were hoarders and kept to themselves, but they never suspected the extent of what was going on inside their home.

"It was just horrific. It was horrifying to see. These people never, ever took these animals out of the cage. They were in feces three inches deep into feces, living in it," one neighbor told 1010 WINS' Terry Sheridan.


1010 WINS' Terry Sheridan talks to shocked neighbors

"I only thought there was one dog. I heard one dog barking and that was it. And I would only hear him in the morning when I would walk my dog," another neighbor said.

Animal House 3
Animal Control Officer enters the home wearing protective gear (Photo/Terry Sheridan)

Murray said the rescued animals were immediately brought back to an animal shelter and cared for. They could be available for adoption in ten days.

"We gave the dogs and cats fluids. We groomed them. We've comforted them since yesterday," Murray said.

In a separate Rockville Centre incident on Wednesday, police found a 62-year-old woman barricading herself in her home with 22 animals, five of which were dead. The 17 surviving dogs were treated at a local animal shelter and will also likely be available for adoption in 10 days.

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