Police: 9-year-old found in Burlington County home with over 30 dead dogs
Two people in Evesham Township are facing charges after a 9-year-old child was found living in a home with dozens of dead dogs, according to police.
Rebeccah Halbach, 35, and Brandon Leconey, 32, are under arrest for animal cruelty and putting a child in danger. Police say they found dogs in cages, some were alive and some dead, after a witness reported multiple dogs were at a home on Main Street that appeared to be sick and/or malnourished.
Fourteen dogs were found to be living in the residence, along with numerous cats and rabbits, according to police. They say more than 30 deceased dogs were found throughout the living space of the home. Nine of those dogs were transported to the Mount Laurel Animal Hospital with several in extremely poor health. Police say one dog was in such poor health that euthanization was required.
Evesham Township police say an investigation with Burlington County prosecutors revealed as many as 100 dogs have died in the home. They say some are suspected to have been buried on the property. Police also say the conditions in the residence were extremely poor due to the number of deceased animals throughout the home.
The child found in the home was removed by police due to the unhealthy conditions. The New Jersey Division of Child Protection & Permanency (DCP&P) was contacted and are investigating. The child found in the home is now in the care of DCP&P.
"It's definitely concerning having a 9-year-old child living in this home, sleeping in the home, eating in this home,” said Walt Miller, Evesham Police Chief.
Leconey was lodged in Burlington County Jail. Police say Halbach is currently being evaluated at the hospital for an unrelated medical condition, and she will be lodged in jail once she is cleared. The investigation is ongoing. And police say additional animal cruelty charges will be filed once the actual number of dogs can be determined.
Anyone with information on this case, including anyone who provided animals to the residents of this home, should contact The Evesham Police Department at 856-983-1116.