Child found living in home with dozens of dead dogs in


By Web staff

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    EVESHAM TOWNSHIP, New Jersey (KYW) — A child was found living inside a home in Evesham Township, New Jersey, with dozens of dead dogs during an animal cruelty investigation, police said Tuesday.

Rebecca Halbach, 35, and Brandon Leconey, 32, are facing endangering the welfare of a child and animal cruelty charges.

Police said more than 30 dead dogs and nine injured canines were found Monday inside a home on the 600 block of Main Street. The injured dogs were taken to the Mt. Laurel Animal Hospital in “extremely poor health,” and one of them had to be euthanized.

“Yeah, I mean, it’s pretty bad,” said Evesham Police Chief Walt Miller.

Investigators said a 9-year-old child was also found inside the home and was removed because of unhealthy conditions. The child is now in the care of the New Jersey Division of Child Protection and Permanency.

The scene was something the officer with nearly 30 years of experience said he had never seen before.

“There’s dogs in cages, live dogs in cages, dead dogs in cages, dead animals throughout the house lying on the floor,” he said.

Miller says this started when a worker for a North Carolina animal rescue showed up, worried that a dog they sent to Halbach and Leconey was dead.

“And they were trying to pass off another dog as the dog that he was looking for,” Miller explained.

Miller said on Tuesday, police found about 70 more dogs in holes in the backyard covered with a tarp, possibly dead because of malnourishment. Police believe as many as 100 dogs may have died at the home.

Janice Thompson from Tender Mercies Pet Organization in North Carolina says it was her organization that notified police after they sent dogs to New Jersey in hopes of finding them forever homes. When asking for updates, she says she received a picture of a dog that wasn’t her dog.

“From experience, I learned always trust your gut,” she said.

Thompson says a volunteer went to check the home and get the dogs back, as soon as he saw the condition of one of the dogs, he called police immediately and the investigation began.

Miller said after all this, investigators still needed to hear from the public. He said more people or agencies may have trusted this couple with animals and money.

Thompson says she hopes other rescues can find their dogs they trusted the couple with.

“We are so grateful that a lot of other dogs were saved and they will never be able to do it again,” she said.

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