An animal rescuer was arrested in New Jersey Thursday after 44 deceased doggies were found in her freezer.
What in the world????
65-year-old Donna Roberts, of Shamong Township, was placed in cuffs and taken downtown.
Authorities say Roberts housed more than 200 dogs in her home, in “deplorable and inhumane conditions.”
Donna’s been charged with animal cruelty.
The Burlington County Health Department had asked for detectives’ assistance in inspecting the premises. Immediately, the group discovered stunning evidence of improper care.
In addition to 161 dogs living in a horrid state, 44 deceased were found in individual plastic bags, stored in freezers distributed throughout the residence.
Detective Ian Fenkel described the squalor:
“The dogs were found to be, both inside and outside, living in their own waste.”
The animals — collected by workers in hazmat suits — had matted fur and long nails.
The Camden County Animal Welfare Association posted their account of the horrific scene on the group’s Facebook page:
AWA was on site yesterday with partner organizations as we assisted in the rescue of 161 dogs from a Burlington County residence. The New Jersey State Police arrived on scene on Tuesday and found overwhelming evidence of animal cruelty. Sadly, 44 dogs were found deceased and four others were in critical condition.
While on site, Maya Richmond, AWA’s executive director, helped to carry out dogs for care and assessment. She was equipped with a hazmat suit and mask to protect herself from the horrendous conditions, including the overwhelming amount of fleas, the accumulation of feces and the urine-filled newspapers that were provided to the dogs as bedding.
At AWA, our staff worked into the late evening evaluating each of the 30 dogs in our care and providing the necessary medical needs to prepare them for their foster homes. Until now, their lives have been filled with unspeakable cruelty and helplessness, but together, we can ensure that each dog’s future is full of comfort, love and affection. Will you give today to provide these animals, and the animals we care for each day, with the second chance they deserve?
According to police, four of the living dogs were found to be in critical condition and were taken to a clinic for emergency care.
Local shelters have taken in the hopefully-soon-to-be-prized pets.
Neighbor Tim Whitcraft was asked what he thought as he observed the two-day investigation and extraction. His answer seems right on the money:
“Justice. Justice, for the dogs.”
Our world has devolved in terms of the way we treat one another. Civility, in online exchanges and political argument, has gone the way of the dodo bird (here and here). In 2016, a candidate for the American presidency stood before the nation and defended partial birth abortion. Canada is eyeing euthanasia for children (here). It’s no wonder someone somewhere could let dogs live poorly.
Thank goodness they were found. Now if only enough people will adopt them, so they may have the good life they deserve — as all innocent creatures do.
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