A New Jersey couple is facing serious charges of child neglect and animal cruelty after police discovered a child living in a home where more than two dozen dogs were found dead. The shocking incident came to light when a witness reported seeing sick and malnourished dogs at the residence. Authorities responded to the call and made a horrifying discovery that has left the community in shock.
Rebecca Halbach, 35, and Brandon Leconey, 32, reside in a home on Main Street in New Jersey. On August 28, the Evesham Township Police Department received a report about the distressed animals at their residence. Upon investigation, officers found approximately 30 deceased dogs and 14 living dogs, along with numerous cats and rabbits. The extent of the tragedy is even more alarming, as it is believed that up to 100 dogs may have died in the home, with some potentially buried on the property. The authorities also found a child living in the house, who was subsequently removed due to the unhealthy conditions.
The child, a 9-year-old boy, is now under the care of the New Jersey Division of Child Protection & Permanency. The child’s removal was necessary due to the hazardous environment in which he was living. The Evesham Township Police Department has charged Halbach and Leconey with child neglect and animal cruelty offenses. The couple is now awaiting a detention hearing at the Burlington County Superior Court.
According to investigators, Halbach and Leconey had been entrusted with foster dogs and funds for their care by an animal rescue organization based in North Carolina. Concerns arose when the organization discovered that one of the dogs had died. Subsequently, they decided to investigate the couple’s home and eventually alerted the police. The investigation is ongoing, and authorities anticipate filing additional animal cruelty charges once the exact number of deceased dogs is determined.
While Leconey is currently held in Burlington County Jail, Halbach is undergoing evaluation at a hospital for an unrelated medical condition. Once cleared, she will be transferred to jail. It remains unclear whether the couple has retained legal representation to speak on their behalf.
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