TOMS RIVER — Ocean County animal officials who helped rescue more than 30 dogs and cats from a hoarding situation ended up getting even more than they bargained for when some of the animals delivered babies soon after being saved.

Now, with all the animals at the Ocean County Animal Facilities in Manahawkin and Jackson, officials are hoping to find the animals forever homes.

"Our latest litter arrived late last week and I'm happy to report all the puppies and mothers are doing well and getting the best of care," Ocean County Freeholder Deputy Director Gerry P. Little said.

The three litters brought a total of 17 puppies, which Ocean County Health Department Public Health Coordinator Daniel E. Regenye said is not unheard of.

"This is what happens in many of these hoarder cases: people start out with good intentions but things can get overwhelming real quick," he said. "When that happens, the animal facilities typically become the only option."

Ocean County officials said all of the dogs are in good health and many have already found new homes. Many of the puppies are still weening and won't be ready for adoption for several weeks.

"If you've been thinking about adopting a pet now is certainly a great time," Little said. "All of our animals are spayed or neutered, micro chipped and receive age appropriate vaccines."

County officials said people interested in adopting the rescued animals or any of the others at the shelters can go to the Jackson facility located at 615 Freemont St., or the Manahawkin facility located at 360 Haywood Road. The shelters are open from 1 to 4 p.m. seven days a week, and until 6:30 p.m. on Wednesdays.

More information is available by calling 732-657-8086 or 609-978-0127 or visiting the department's website.

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