Police: NJ woman left 3 dogs to die in empty home

Authorities say Allissa DeStefano was responsible for three dogs who were left alone and later died. (Ocean County Prosecutors Office)

A woman who allegedly abandoned three dogs that were found dead at a vacant New Jersey home this month is now charged with animal cruelty.

Ocean County prosecutors say Allissa DeStefano was responsible for caring for the dogs and had left them alone for an unspecified amount of time, but it’s not clear if she owned the dogs.

A telephone number for the 29-year-old Toms River woman could not be located, and it wasn’t known Friday if she’s retained an attorney. She was arrested Thursday and released on a summons.

The animals were found Nov. 11 in a Lacey Township home.

It’s not clear how long they had been in the home before their bodies were discovered.