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'Picture Perfect Pets' not so perfect: Owner charged with cruelty and neglect

Authorities suspect the store owner was involved in breeding and puppy mill activities.
Authorities suspect the store owner was involved in breeding and puppy mill activities.
Jason Putkowski/Toms River Police

The "Picture Perfect Pets" located on 1765 Route 9 in Toms River, New Jersey has been shut down after authorities raided the pet store and seized 21 dogs in deplorable conditions earlier this week according to a press release by Toms River Township.

A combined effort of Toms River Animal Control, the Ocean County Health Department and the Toms River Police entered the property on Tuesday with a search warrant and found the dogs living in "deplorable conditions" and suffering from flea infestations, mats, ear and eye infections, and upper respiratory infections. Most of the dogs were severely underweight.

Authorities suspect the facility may have been a breeding or puppy mill situation. Jim Bowen, the Division Manager of the Toms River Animal Facility stated:

“After seeing the deplorable conditions, I knew the animals needed to be removed from the premises. This is obviously not a one time event, but an ongoing case of abuse and neglect. The building was in such disarray, I believed we were looking at a possible breeding or puppy mill."

Advertised on the Internet as a dog grooming facility, the establishment has been ordered closed by the Ocean County Health Department because of the unsanitary and overcrowded conditions. Online records show that Kerry Wombough has owned the business since 1988 with an annual revenue of $64,000.

Wombough has not responded to the allegations.

Wombough has been charged with multiple animal cruelty violations. The investigation is ongoing. The dogs will not be available for adoption at this time. All of them are being treated by local veterinarians.

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