Roberts indicted on eight counts of animal cruelty

Mugshot of Donna Roberts (Burlington County/Special to The Sun).

Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina announced a Shamong woman has been indicted on multiple counts of causing death or bodily injury in November 2018 to dogs she kept on her property in substandard, inhumane conditions.

Donna Roberts, 66, of the 500 block of Oakshade Road, was indicted on eight counts of Animal Cruelty (Third Degree). The indictment was returned yesterday and signed by First Assistant Prosecutor Philip S. Aronow. An arraignment will be scheduled soon in Superior Court in Mount Holly.

Roberts was charged late 2018 after State Police found 44 dog carcasses placed in plastic bags and stored in freezers throughout the residence. Investigators also discovered 161 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 on Nov. 13 and discovered dogs living in deplorable 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 then placed for adoption.

Roberts was not detained pending trial, but has been forbidden by a judge from owning, possessing or caring for any animals.

The investigation was conducted by the State Police, with assistance from the county’s prosecutor’s office and health department. The case was presented to the grand jury by Assistant Prosecutor Nicole Handy.