Dozens of animals, both alive and deceased, were found inside of a pickup truck parked at Sussex County Mall.
Approximately 38 dogs, 8 cats and over 40 deceased animals were discovered inside the truck, according to the Ramapo-Bergen Animal Refuge, which helped in the rescue. Shoppers spotted loose dogs running through the parking lot and an overwhelming odor alerted authorities of the situation.
Rescuers said that everything was soaked in feces, urine, & animal remains. The deceased animals were found individually wrapped in plastic bags inside of the truck, which was parked behind the Marshall’s department store on Hampton House Road in Hampton Township.
Lynn Leonard, 53, of Bloxom, Virginia, was arrested Monday after returning to her vehicle.
Ramapo-Bergen Animal Refuge and its partners at Second Chance Pet Adoption League, Barks Animal Rescue, Eleventh Hour Animal Rescue, Hampton Animal Control and the Hopatcong Animal Shelter took in the animals to be evaluated and treated.
“While last night was a horrific discovery of animal cruelty, the joining together of different organizations to aid these helpless animals was uplifting amid dismay,” the rescue said in a Facebook post.
“We are thankful to Hampton animal control for their immediate response and staying into the late hours of the night to ensure the animals all had safe placements.”
The animal refuge is seeking donations from the public to help with medical expenses.