The Town of Hempstead is asking animal-lovers to step up and open their homes to the starving and severely neglected dogs and two cats rescued by Hempstead Town Animal Control officers on Friday from hellish conditions in a Rockville Centre home.

Town Councilman Anthony Santino told Metro the town “is in the process of a legal proceeding to take ownership of the animals from Faith Ross and her daughter. It should take about 10 days. Once that is finalized, the animals will be available for adoption at the town of Hempstead Animal Shelter.”

Several of the dogs had their mouths duct-taped shut, while others were living in cages filled halfway with feces.

“There was a report foul odors coming from the home,” said Jeff Kluewer, spokesperson for the
village of Rockville Centre. “When the officers arrived on the scene, they smelled gas and heard dogs barking and yelping inside. There was no one home, so the landlord let the officers in.”

Six Chihuahuas, three dachshunds, a Yorkshire terrier, a shih tzu, an English bulldog, a boxer and two cats were taken to the Town of Hempstead Animal Control and Shelter in Wantaugh for examination and treatment by a vet before being cleaned and groomed. One dog was taken directly to an animal hospital for emergency care.


Faith Ross, 54, a secretary for an alarm company, and her daughter Francesca Marie Maselli, 23, a nursing home aide, were each charged with three felony accounts of animal cruelty and 15 related misdemeanor accounts.

Officers found abused animals and the badly decomposed carcasses of 26 animals — also including ferrets and birds — buried beneath clutter, garbage and animal waste two feet deep inside the home at 14 Montauk Ave.

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