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More than 80 dogs and cats, at least 40 dead, found crammed in truck

A rescue organization said the animals had been living in the vehicle for at least a week.
Michael, Sherwin and William, three dogs that were rescued from the back of a pickup truck.
Posted at 3:03 PM, Apr 19, 2023

Dozens of animals that survived an "unimaginable situation" in New Jersey have been given a new lease on life after being saved by a team of rescue workers.

More than 80 dogs and cats were found crammed into the bed and cabin of a small pickup truck last week in Hampton, New Jersey, the nonprofit Eleventh Hour Rescue said on Facebook.

At least 40 of the animals were deceased.

"Roughly 38 dogs, 8 cats, and at minimum 40 deceased animals were found inside of a small beaten down pick up truck parked behind a strip mall," the group said. "We received a call from our rescue partner about the situation and our volunteers did not hesitate to drive to the scene to help in whatever way they could."

The animals had been living in the vehicle for at least a week, according to the Ramapo-Bergen Animal Refuge (RBARI).

"It is clear that their trauma and neglect spanned far beyond the week they spent jammed in a pick-up truck, many loose in the cab, and more in crates in the bed," the animal shelter said. "All the dogs desperately needed grooming and baths. They were covered with fleas, matts, urine, feces and the stench of dead animals."

Eleventh Hour Rescue

Eleventh Hour Rescue

New Jersey State Troopers identified the owner of the truck as 53-year-old Lynn Leonard of Bloxom, Virginia. She was arrested and faces animal cruelty charges, authorities said.

Eleventh Hour and RBARI are now asking the public to come together to help bring the surviving animals back to health.

Both organizations shared donation links on social media, which had raised a combined $6,650 as of Wednesday afternoon. They also posted portals on their websites here and here, where people can apply to foster the animals as they make a full recovery.

"These animals have a long journey of recovery ahead of them, but they are now safe forever," Eleventh Hour Rescue said. "Thank you to every bystander, officer, rescue, and ACO (Accountable Care Organizations) that helped out last night."

a dog at the animal shelter

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