⭕ Pit bull was emaciated and frostbitten, police said

⭕ Mount Olive man also rescued dogs left in 12-degree cold

⭕ Police investigating to find owners

HALEDON — Authorities say the owners of a pit bull left to die in this New Jersey borough are facing animal cruelty charges as police in Mount Olive look to identify whoever abandoned two more pit mixes in the freezing cold over the weekend.

Haledon police said they found Elsa emaciated on Jan. 15. They had gotten a call for a dog that had been left outside for hours.

"We are coming off a stretch of bitter, unseasonable cold that has gripped the Garden State for over a week. At the NJ Weather Network station at North Haledon, the temperature dipped to 20 degrees on the morning of January 15th. With the wind chill, it would have felt even colder. (Yes, even for dogs,)" said New Jersey Chief Meteorologist Dan Zarrow.

(Jersey Pits Rescue)
(Jersey Pits Rescue)

Low on strength, Elsa had collapsed to the ground. She displayed signs of frostbite and hypothermia, police said.

The officers took Elsa to an animal hospital for treatment. Their quick response likely saved the dog's life, said Chief Angelo Daniele.

Elsa (Jersey Pits Rescue)
Elsa (Jersey Pits Rescue)

Elsa is now being taken care of at a foster home. She will be put up for adoption through Jersey Pits Rescue once she has made a full recovery, police said.

Her owners, Johanna Marie, 31, and Devon Johnson, 30, both of Haledon are charged with third-degree animal cruelty.

Dogs abandoned in 12-degree cold

Less than a week after Elsa was abandoned in Haldeon, two other dogs were left outside in a cage to freeze.

(Brian Magrini)
(Brian Magrini)

A mysterious black vehicle, seen above, dumped the pit mixes in a crate along Gold Mine Road around 9 a.m. Monday morning, Mount Olive resident Brian Magrini said to New Jersey 101.5.

The crate was covered with a blanket so passersby couldn't see the animals.

Dogs abandoned in Mount Olive (Brian Magrini)
Dogs abandoned in Mount Olive (Brian Magrini)

The pit mixes, one male and one female, were out there in 12-degree cold for more than an hour before Magrini and his neighbor noticed the crate and went to check on them. They called the Mount Olive police.

"I would hope everyone would do what we did," Magrini said.

Both dogs are being cared for at Common Sense for Animals, a nonprofit in Stewartsville. They'll be put up for adoption after a mandatory seven-day waiting period.

The Mount Olive police are looking for whoever dumped the animals, Magrini said.

An investigation is ongoing, Mount Olive police spokesperson Gina Inga said.

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