More Cruelty Charges for Burlington County Woman Who Had 100+ Dogs at Home
SHAMONG — A woman found with close to 100 dogs and dozens of carcasses in her home is facing more animal cruelty charges.
More than a month after Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina filed the initial charges against Donna Roberts, another 18 charges were announced on Thursday.
Roberts was arrested in November. Police reported feeling physically ill from the conditions they encountered.
Police reported finding 44 dead dogs wrapped in plastic bags and placed in freezers. They also found 130 dogs living in conditions that were described as "deplorable and inhumane."
"The odor of animal feces and ammonia permeated the inside of the residence, which caused several of the responders to experience dizziness and nausea," the State Police said at the time.
On Wednesday, she was charged with one count of third-degree animal cruelty and two counts of fourth-degree animal cruelty. She was also charged with 15 counts of unlawful confinement. Coffina said the cruelty charges came because Roberts failed to provide "adequate shelter, food, water and appropriate and necessary living conditions." A necropsy on one of the dogs that died shortly after being rescued indicated that malnutrition contributed to its death.
Roberts last month told the New York Post that the puppies found in the freezer were stillborn, and she'd forgotten about them after seven years.
"I forgot all about them, they were in the cellar," Roberts told the Post. "They were in a freezer, and that's what breeders do when dogs die. I forgot all about them. They were born dead and I didn't kill them. They're making a big deal out of nothing."
The Post quoted her saying that her plan had been to send the dogs to a vet in Alabama for an autopsy.
A condition of her release from custody is that she not own, possess or care for animals.