SHAMONG, N.J. (CBS) — Dogs were removed from a Shamong home on Friday that is well-known to authorities and neighbors for its horrific past. Last year, dozens of dead dogs were found on the property in freezers.
In Shamong Twp, NJ right now where @NJSP are raiding and removing dogs from the same home where they took more than 200 dogs, including 44 dead ones, just last year. One man was issued new cruelty citation, investigation is ongoing. pic.twitter.com/SMzvNKPQrM
— Cleve Bryan CBS3 (@CleveBryan) December 20, 2019
“This is just absolutely ridiculous,” neighbor Ernest Lazos said. “This is unconscionable. I cannot believe that this is happening all over again.”
Lazos and other neighbors on Oakshade Road feel like it’s a horrifying case of déjà vu after hearing dogs whimper and bark all night at the same home where a woman was arrested for animal cruelty last year.
“Last night it was 18 degrees and we heard the barking,” Lazos said.
“We were all very concerned because temperatures were dropping into the teens and it was the second night that the dogs had been left out for hours with no end in sight,” neighbor Denise Tollefson said.
Neighbors called New Jersey State Police on Thursday night. The responding trooper noticed several dogs out in the cold and issued 27-year-old Andrew Meyer a summons or municipal complaint for animal cruelty.
Chopper 3 was over the house on Friday morning when State Police returned with animal rescue agents. They seized several dogs from an outside structure. Only CBS3’s camera was on the scene later when authorities rescued more dogs from the house.
In November 2018, police raided the same property, removing more than 160 dogs living in deplorable conditions. They also found 44 dead dogs stored in freezers.
Donna Roberts, 66, was arrested and, just this week, a grand jury indicted her on eight counts of third-degree animal cruelty.
“What happened the first time was really bad, but to happen again, I’m speechless,” said Lazos.
“Well, we’re amazed that people can be so brazen to disregard not only life but the law. They’ve been in a lot of trouble and are doing it again,” said Tollefson.
Neighbors say this is a known puppy mill breeding site.
As a condition of release, a judge ordered Roberts not to own or care for dogs. As of Friday afternoon, investigators were still working to determine if she’s involved again and wouldn’t say if Meyer is a relative.
Roberts faces arraignment in early January for the ongoing charges. There is no word at this point in the investigation if she’s in violation of a court order not to have animals or if she faces any new charges.