Naugatuck woman faces animal cruelty charges, dogs found in poor conditions

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A few of the dogs removed from Rowe’s home. Contributed

By Andreas Yilma Citizen’s News

NAUGATUCK — A borough woman faces animal cruelty charges after police found several dogs in deplorable conditions.

Deja Rowe, 35, surrendered Wednesday at Naugatuck Police Department after she learned of a warrant for her arrest for five counts of cruelty to animals.

Rowe inherited a pregnant pit bull from her significant other early last year. The dog gave birth to a litter of 11 puppies in April 2021. Rowe sold most of them and one woman reported a concern after the puppy she adopted died. The same woman adopted two more puppies, a male and a female from the same litter. She noticed one of the puppies was malnourished and covered in ulcers, prompting her to report it to Naugatuck Animal Control in late February, according a police news release.

Naugatuck police became involved after animal control determined there were additional dogs in Rowe’s home in a “state of poor physical health and deplorable conditions,” police said.

Deja Rowe. Contributed

A search-and-seizure warrant was executed by police on Rowe’s residence, where police found the mother dog and one puppy “in less than optimal conditions, covered in their own filth and open ulcers, and emaciated,” according to the release.

Rowe was released after posting a $10,000 bond and is scheduled to appear April 6 in Waterbury Superior Court.

Officers said two dogs needed immediate medical treatment at a 24-hour animal clinic. They also removed a deceased ball python from a terrarium at the residence.

The investigation focused on the 3-year old mother dog, Alize, and three 11-month-old puppies, Jasper, Binx and Paisley, who have brindle-colored fur.

All four dogs are now with animal control and continue to recover, Naugatuck police officer Danielle Durette said. After a full recovery, they will be available to be adopted, she said.

“The dogs won’t need any surgery,” Durette said. “It was more malnourished and skin issues from sitting in feces and urine.”

Durette said the animal control officers have been doing a really good job working with these dogs.

“They’re (puppies), playful with one another,” she said. “The mother is a little more withdrawn and on guard. She’s pretty wary of humans.”

A dog removed from Rowe’s home. Contributed

Animal control officers are building trust with the dogs, and socializing them with other humans and dogs to get them the interaction they need to help them grow into well-behaved dogs, Durette said.

“They’ll (animal control officers) run around and play with them (dogs),” Durette said. “At first the puppies were a little wary, but from what I understand, they’ve come out of their shell.”

Donations animal control receives from the public help pay for these unfortunate situations, she noted.

Naugatuck Animal Control will advertise the dogs on its Facebook page when they’re available for adoption.