Authorities: Owner who abandoned dogs faces cruelty counts

Posted: Updated:

PILESGROVE, N.J. - Authorities say the owner of an emaciated dog found feeding from the carcass of another dog after they were abandoned in a vacant southern New Jersey home is now facing animal cruelty charges.

Salem County prosecutors say 37-year-old Heather Thistlewood previously lived at the Pilesgrove home where the two dogs were found last month. It wasn't known Tuesday if she's retained an attorney.

Thistlewood allegedly abandoned Ruth, a young beagle/boxer mix, and another dog without food or water. It's not clear how long they were in the house, but authorities say Ruth was feeding off the other dog, who had died, when they were discovered.

The Salem County Humane Society is caring for Ruth, who weighed 29 pounds when she was found and has tested positive for Lyme disease.

(Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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