Women from Brick, NJ house of child/animal horrors released from jail
BRICK — The two women whose home was condemned after 180 dogs and cats were removed from the deplorable conditions inside were released from custody Thursday afternoon with a number of restrictions and requirements in place.
The animals, meanwhile, move closer to adoption.
The conditions imposed on Aimee Lonczak and Michele Nycz by Superior Court Judge Wendel E. Daniels include no contact with Lonczak’s developmentally challenged 16-year-old daughter, no interaction with animals, weekly check-ins and psychiatric evaluations within the next 10 days, according to Patch coverage of the hearing. They may also not return to the house.
The two women appeared via video at the hearing where both were represented by public defenders. Lonczak peered through an opening while resting on her forearm. Only Nycz's forehead was visible on the screen.
An affidavit revealed by Assistant Prosecutor Alexander Becker showed that Lonczak tried to make up reasons to keep the township animal control officer from going into her house. Lonczak said one of the dogs inside was a "vicious pit bull" that had recently bitten someone. She didn’t know how many animals were inside, telling the officer “a f—king lot."
Overwhelming smell 3 feet in
The initial responding officer was so overwhelmed by the stench inside the house he only got 3 feet in before calling in a hazmat team, according to Patch.
Becker said the affidavit also revealed that Lonczak's daughter was bullied at school because she smelled of urine and feces. He used it as an example of how Lonczak has no respect for animals or her daughter. He said Nycz should have reported the daughter's presence in the house as a child endangerment situation, according to Patch.
In arguing for his client's release, Nycz's attorney said there is no legal obligation for her to do so.
Becker said that calls have been received from Florida, Georgia and North Carolina about animals that came from their respective states to the home in Brick. Becker did not disclose what agencies made contact.
Lonczak's public defender said she has obvious mental health issues but it doesn't excuse the condition of her home or the animals.
Their next court date is Jan. 10.
Several more weeks until adoption
The animals took a big step towards being adopted when Brick police turned the animals over to the Ocean County Health Department clearing the way for adoption. Public health coordinator Dan Regenye said that while they want to get the animals into new homes as soon as possible they're being cautious and careful.
"Very few have come in and spayed and neutered. Every animal that we adopt out, is spayed and neutered. So that's a five or six-day healing process post-surgery for that," Regenye said. "We want to make sure that we get a good sense of personalities of the dogs and the cats that were placing them in the proper homes."
Regenye said it's important to get the right fit in terms of animals already in a home and if they can tolerate a new four-legged member of the family. Much like the gifting of rabbits at Easter, the shelter is concerned about the animals being gifted but then being returned because it turns out to not be the right fit.
Finding the animals' rightful owners
There's also a possibility that the animals removed from the house may have already been adopted out by Lonczak and Nycz's rescue, Lonz Crazy Ladies Rescue, but somehow wound up back there.
"So obviously if we had any owned animals of somebody ended up in his foster, we certainly want to prioritize that as well and get those dogs into their previous owners' hands as well. There is a lot of work that still has to get done. I'm glad that we are a being able to start that process and to go through and get these dogs and cats out."
Regenye had nothing but praise for the staff and volunteers at the three shelters who are emotional about what they see but energized at the potential future for the animals once they are adopted.
"It's a very, very dedicated staff that we have and the volunteers and everybody who stepped up to assist us with this and we're definitely on the right path. It is going to take some more time," Regenye.
A hotline has been set up for questions about the animals: 732-341-9700 X7411.