NJSPCA: Abused Bulldog Hercules Faces Slow Recovery
After being in a foster home following his rescue from a Deptford home last week, Hercules is back in veterinary care.
Hercules, the American bulldog found in a Deptford home last week, malnourished and covered in his own filth in a basement crate, is back in veterinary care as he begins “a slow recovery,” New Jersey SPCA officials said Wednesday.
SPCA officials said they moved the dog out of foster care and back to the vet “for the safety, security and health of Hercules,” and said the starved and abused dog could undergo elbow surgery within the next two weeks.
His alleged abuser, Roxanne Notaro, faces five counts of animal abuse related to Hercules, as well as a sixth count related to a cat she owned, which SPCA officials said had to be euthanized.
Notaro also owned another dog, a chocolate Lab that was in good health, apart from a flea problem, SPCA officials said. That dog was surrendered to the SPCA.
Hercules’ abuse was discovered almost by accident—Deptford police were called to Notaro’s Vassar Road home, just a few hundred yards from the West Deptford Animal Hospital, on an unrelated matter, SPCA officials said, and after finding the dog in the basement, got the state SPCA involved in the case.
Hercules was being kept in “horrific conditions,” SPCA officials said, and noted that when Gloucester County Animal Control Officer Mark Tourscher came to take the bulldog from the home, Hercules couldn’t even stand on his own, he was so weak.
The state SPCA has posted several updates on Hercules’ condition on its Facebook page, which have garnered hundreds of comments. Many offer prayers for the dog, while other ask to be updated on Hercules’ condition and express outrage at the dog’s alleged abuser.
“How can anyone do this to such a beautiful animal?” Debbie Biamonte wrote. “I just don't understand it.”
Others called for swift punishment for Notaro.
“I can only hope that the judicial system does not fail Hercules and that his owner goes to jail for a very long time,” Sharon Ricci wrote on the NJ SPCA’s page.
Meanwhile, Notaro has left her own Facebook page semi-public, which includes gripes about her neighbors and others.
Despite being accused of what SPCA officials say is clear cruelty and indifference, Notaro claims to be an animal lover, and at one point last October, posted a link to a Press of Atlantic City story about police shooting the Margate deer when it strayed into Atlantic City.
“I may be a hunter but I have respect for living creatures,” Notaro wrote in a comment alongside the article.
State SPCA officials have requested donations to help Hercules go through the state organization’s website, njspca.org, and be noted for the bulldog’s care.