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Franklin Lakes German Shepherd Owner Charged With 14 Animal Cruelty Counts

Danielle Weitz Photo Credit: COURTESY: Bergen County Prosecutor
Danielle Weitz Photo Credit: COURTESY: njvsdogs.com

A 55-year-old Franklin Lakes woman with a history of similar trouble was served with a host of animal cruelty complaints after more than a dozen German Shepherds were removed from her home, authorities said.

The 14 dog were in varying health and living conditions, Acting Bergen County Prosecutor Dennis Calo said, when animal control officers removed them from the Haddon Place home-turned-dog kennel of Danielle Weitz and her husband, Robert.

Borough officials also deemed the house uninhabitable.

"I'm not interested in this call," Robert Weitz said Tuesday night before hanging up on Daily Voice. "Don't call me again."

SPCA investigators served his wife on Wednesday with 14 counts of "failure as the owner or as a person otherwise charged with the care of a living animal or creature to provide the living animal or creature with necessary care," Calo said.

A July 12 first appearance was scheduled in Bergen County Central Judicial Processing Court in Hackensack.

The incident echoed a similar one from several years ago.

An animal control officer in November 2010 found the Weitzes using bedrooms for female Shepherds with newborns and an area for puppies.

There were also "several cages on the ground floor and approximately two dozen cages in [the] basement," according to a court filing.

"At least fifteen of the cages were occupied by dogs, including at least two unneutered male stud dogs and about seven unneutered females available for breeding," the filing says.

A follow-up inspection found 18 adult dogs, it says.

Danielle Weitz contended that she was breeding, raising, and training dogs -- keeping the best for showing and selling the others to "a following" of customers. She also advertised online.

Weitz was cited for operating a kennel without a license and fined $250 plus $30 in court costs.

A Municipal Court judge also prohibited the couple from breeding dogs without a kennel license.

They objected and regular inspections were ordered.

The Weitzes took their case to a higher court and were denied by the state Appellate Division.

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