April 5, 2016 – NJ, PARAMUS — Police on Monday found 67 dogs being kept in crates in a cold van, authorities said.
Paramus Police Officers Daniel Derienzo and Matthew Lombardo found the 2002 Freightliner Sprinter parked in the rear lot of Just Pups on Route 17 while on regular patrol, Chief Kenneth Ehrenberg said in a media release.
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They heard crying and whining from inside and smelled urine and feces, Ehrenberg said. Derienzo and Lombardo looked inside and saw several small dogs.
The officers entered the van through an unlocked sliding door and found several small crates, each with two to four puppies and small dogs inside, Ehrenberg said. There were 67 dogs in all.
Sixty-seven dogs in total were taken to Oradell Animal Hospital in Paramus, a hospital spokesman said. It was determined that 15 of the animals required further medical treatment. Initial police reports estimated that 50 puppies were found in the van, but the hospital confirmed the higher number.
The temperature in the van was 38 degrees, while the outside temperature was 35 degrees. A space heater hooked up to a propane tank had done little to warm the van and there was no proper ventilation, Ehrenberg said.
The crates were too small for some of the dogs too stand up, Ehrenberg said. They contained no food and water, and some of the dogs were covered in feces.
The van was registered to the owner of Just Pups. Vincent LoSacco also owns Just Pups locations in Emerson, East Hanover and East Brunswick. The township council in East Brunswick voted last week to revoke the license of the Just Pups location there after LoSacco was charged with 267 counts of animal cruelty.
The Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Animal Cruelty Task Force, Paramus Police and Paramus Health Department are investigating. The Paramus store has been closed in light of the inquiry.
Criminal complaints are pending the results of the investigation, Ehrenberg said.