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November 14, 2018

Shamong woman arrested when police find more than 150 dogs, including dozens dead, on her property

The odor at Donna Roberts' house reportedly caused responders to feel dizzy and nauseous

Investigations Animal Cruelty
Police lights arrests crime Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

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A South Jersey woman was arrested Tuesday when New Jersey State Police found more than 150 dogs, dozens of which were dead, on her property.

Donna Roberts, 65, of Shamong Township, was arrested for allegedly keeping 130 living dogs in what police called “deplorable and inhumane” conditions.

When detectives were called to assist the Burlington County Health Department with an inspection at Roberts’ property, they also found the remains of 44 dogs stored in plastic bags and stashed in freezers, authorities said.

“The odor of animal feces and ammonia permeated the inside of the residence,” police said, “which caused several of the responders to experience dizziness and nausea.”

Four of the living dogs were determined to be in critical condition, and were transported to an emergency vet clinic, police said. The remaining dogs were treated at the scene by animal shelter workers.

“We are appalled by the horrendous conditions these dogs were subjected to, and as a result I authorized charges against the property owner, Donna Roberts,” Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina said in a release.

“I would like to commend the State Police for their professionalism and compassion, and thank the Burlington County Health Department and the many volunteers for the outpouring of support to provide for the care for these dogs.”

Roberts was charged with animal cruelty and released with a court date pending, according to state police.


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