It was a reunion two years in the making.

A family from Tennessee drove 11 straight hours to reunite with their bloodhound named Daisy who was one of 180 dogs and cats found inside a filthy Brick house in December as over half the other animals have been adopted.

Ocean County Health Department spokesman Brian Lippai said that as staff and veterinarians examined all the animals those who were found to have microchips were called. Most of the chips were expired or did not get back in touch with the health department. One call to Tennessee led to the reunion.

"When they found out that Daisy was up here in New Jersey they were completely surprised. They don't know how the pet made that journey all the way up here. But it did and after getting in touch with them and showing proof of ownership through rabies, vaccine records and licensing and vet records we were able to make that reclaim happen and reunite Daisy with their with their family," Lippai told New Jersey 101.5.

Lippai said the family arrived Saturday morning and then headed back home. The family hasn't seen Daisy in two years.

Animals removed from a Brick Township home 12/3/22
Animals removed from a Brick Township home 12/3/22 (Photo courtesy Patch)

Half the Brick animals are adopted

Of the 180 animals removed on Dec. 2 from the house of Aimee Lonczak and Michele Nycz, 95 have been adopted in a week and a half.

"The good news is that we've had 63 dogs and 32 cats total that have gone out the door and found new permanent loving home. So we're so ecstatic that it's been such a great success, and we're off to such a great start," Lippai said.

People have come from beyond Ocean County to adopt the animals after seeing news stories, checking the health department website, calling the shelters in Jackson and Manahawkin and just stopping by. Lippai said the adoptions have been happening so quickly it's hard to keep up with website updates.

A family from Tennessee is reunited with their Bloodhound named Daisy 12/31/22
A family from Tennessee is reunited with their Bloodhound named Daisy 12/31/22 (Ocean County Health Department)

Making the right match

While the shelter staff is happy to see the animals find new homes they also guard against impulse adoptions and make sure the match is correct. All the animals are spayed, neutered and microchipped with up-to-date vaccinations.

"We want folks to make sure that they've done their homework, done their research, make sure that they've they found the right pet and we'll help them along with that process," Lippai said. "Make sure you know that the pet you're looking for is going to be good with you, your family."

Perspective owners are asked to bring their existing pets into the shelter for a meet and greet to make sure they're compatible, according to Lippai.

"If everything works out, you've got yourself a new best friend."

The cost for adopting a cat is $55 and dogs are $60.

Lippai said that even though the animals rescued from Brick are getting attention there are other animals at the Ocean County shelters also waiting for homes.

"We have also a current batch of animals that are just as lovely and just as sweet as the ones that came from the boarding process that are also being adopted, we would still consider asking you to consider those as well," Lippai said.

Dan Alexander is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at

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