BARNEGAT, NJ - A statewide advocacy organization is investigating what may be improper sheltering of at least five dogs in Barnegat. The dogs are currently in outside kennels at an abandoned property within the Township.

"We have been in touch with both Popcorn Zoo and Barnegat Police," shared  Collene Wronko, President of Reforners - Advocates for Animal Shelter Change in NJ.  "We are concerned about a number of violations of Title 4 of the New Jersey State Statutes."

According to Wronko, no one appears to live at the premises where the animals have been left in tarp covered kennels. Tax records reveal that the current property owner as of last year is an LLC in Lakewood. However, authorities are looking into who actually owns the unattended dogs.

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New Jersey has strict laws when it comes to tethering animals and keeping them outside. At the very least, the pet owners have failed to comply with those laws. At least one of the dogs is on a short leash, less than the 15-foot requirement.

Wronko has intentionally kept the location of the premises private so that the matter is handled through official channels. Anyone with information that may prove useful to this situation should contact the Barnegat Police Department.

This is an ongoing story and will be updated when more news is available.