An animal shelter in New Jersey says they've been bombarded with calls from people interested in adopting one of the nearly two dozen puppies and three adult dogs rescued last week from a suspected animal hoarder.
Since the story broke Wednesday, staff at Bergen County Protect and Rescue Foundation say they've received hundreds of inquiries about the 23 puppies and three adult dogs the authorities pulled from a North Bergen home.
The animals lived with a suspected animal hoarder and rescuers believe many of them had never before been outside until they were taken, covered in fleas, from the home.
The canines were among over 50 animals--dogs, cats and fish--officials say were found in the home living in "deplorable" conditions.
As soon as the dogs arrived at the shelter, staff and volunteers got to work feeding, bathing and de-worming them.
"These dogs have gone from scared and dehydrated to happy and playful,” volunteer Kristi Heller told CBS New York."
Their adult parents, however, weren't as quick to adapt to life outside the confines of the feces and urine covered two-story home.
"The parents were more skittish, the puppies were in full puppy mode,” shelter manager Doria Melendez said.
The shelter says all of the dogs are now on the road back to health and happiness, but it will still be another week until they're available for adoption.
However, that hasn't stopped an unprecedented flood of voicemails, emails and in-kind donations from coming into the shelter from eager potential puppy parents.
“They maxed out our e-mail, they maxed out our voicemail. We have to be way over five hundred,” Melendez told CBS New York.
The shelter said some of the animals are still being evaluated by veterinarians and reminded hopeful adopters that applications will not be considered on a first-come basis, but will instead be evaluated by suitability.