Western New Jersey

Noted dog breeders charged after nearly 200 animals found in squalor

KINGWOOD, N.J. - The owners of a once-renowned New Jersey dog kennel are facing numerous animal cruelty charges after nearly 200 terriers and dachshunds were found living in squalor, authorities say.

The counts against Martin Strozeski, 66, and Marcia Knoster, 70, both of Stockton, were announced Monday by the Hunterdon County Prosecutor's Office.

The former Westminster Dog Show winning breeders are charged with failing to provide necessary care to 22 dogs, resulting in their deaths and not providing necessary care to 188 dogs, resulting in bodily injury.

Strozeski has said the Rocky Ridge Russells kennel became "a hobby turned bad" after some high-flying years.

The dogs were removed from the Kingwood Township property last week.

Officials said the animals had minimal to no veterinary care. They noted many were pregnant, had "masses and infections," or both. But Strozeski has said the condition of the dogs was exaggerated in reports.

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