OCEAN COUNTY, NJ Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer and Lacey Township Police Chief Michael DiBella announced today that Allissa DeStefano, 29, of Toms River, has been arrested and charged with three counts of Animal Cruelty in violation of N.J.S.A. 4:22-17c(2).

During the evening hours of November 11, 2019, the Lacey Township Police Department responded to a residence in Lacey Township for a report that dogs had possibly been abandoned in the residence. Upon arrival, the officers determined that the house was indeed abandoned, and the remains of three dogs were discovered. An investigation by Detectives from the Lacey Township Police Department and the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office revealed that DeStefano was responsible for the care of the dogs and had abandonded them in the residence, which resulted in their deaths. DeStefano was arrested without incident, and processed at the Lacey Township Police Department. She was released on a Summons pending a future court date.

Prosecutor Billhimer and Chief DiBella extend their gratitude to the Lacey Township Police Department and Detective Bureau as well as Detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office for their fine cooperative work in connection with this investigation.

The public and the media are reminded that all defendants are innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.