Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina announced that a Shamong woman has pled guilty to causing the death of six dogs that were being kept at her property by failing to provide them with proper care.
During a Superior Court proceeding on February 16, Donna Roberts, 68, of the 500 block of Oakshade Road, pled to guilty to one count of Cruelty to Animals (Third Degree). Under an agreement with the Prosecutor’s Office, Roberts must serve 90 days in the Burlington County Jail in Mount Holly.
Additionally, Roberts must perform 30 days of community service, and serve five years of probation, during which time she cannot own, raise, or otherwise care for any animal. The plea agreement requires the approval of the court. The Hon. John J. Burke III, J.S.C., scheduled sentencing for May 13.
Roberts was charged in November 2018 after the New Jersey State Police found 44 dog carcasses placed in plastic bags and stored in freezers throughout the residence. Investigators also discovered approximately 160 living dogs, four of which were in critical condition and required emergency treatment at a veterinary clinic.
The investigation began after officials went to inspect her property and discovered dogs living in deplorable and inhumane conditions. A search warrant was then secured, and an inspection of the entire premises revealed the extent of the neglect.
The remaining dogs were evaluated and treated at the scene. In the immediate aftermath, multiple agencies came forward to assist with the care of those dogs, most of which were placed for adoption.
The investigation was conducted by the New Jersey State Police, with assistance from the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office, the Burlington County Health Department and the Burlington County Sheriff’s Department.
Roberts is being prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutors Rachel Conte and Nicole Handy.