A Galloway Township woman has been charged in three towns after dogs were found abandoned in cages or euthanized after being treated for parvovirus, acting Atlantic County Prosecutor Cary Shill said Saturday.
Jodi Wozniak, 45, has been charged by Absecon police with theft of services; by Galloway police with five counts of cruelty to animals; and by Linwood police with theft of services, fraudulent use of a credit card and two counts of cruelty to animals.
On Sept. 16, Prosecutor’s Office Investigator Denise Manino received a call from Galloway police Officer David LaSassa regarding five adult dogs of German shepherd/Belgian malinois breed that had appeared to be abandoned in the woods near North Pitney Road, Shill said in a news release. LaSassa said some of the dogs were tethered to a tree and others were inside kennels with no food or water. The dogs — which were owned by Wozniak — had been left alone for at least 15 hours, according to the owner of the property.
The dogs were taken to the Atlantic County Animal Shelter and put on a protective hold, but Wozniak refused to surrender the dogs, Shill said. Manino received a call Tuesday from LaSassa stating Wozniak was in custody for trespassing on the property she was ordered not to return to, following a judicial eviction order signed Sept. 13.
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On Tuesday, Manino received a call from Sgt. Charles Champion of the Linwood Police Department, reporting that Wozniak had taken puppies, also of German shepherd/Belgian malinois breed, and all suffering from parvovirus, to Linwood Animal Hospital. Three of the puppies were euthanized, Shill said. One puppy was returned to Wozniak, and one puppy was still at the animal hospital receiving treatment.
Wozniak called the animal hospital and used a stolen credit card to pay for some of the services rendered to the five puppies, Shill said. Wozniak has surrendered one surviving puppy that is infected with parvovirus and is still being treated at the animal hospital.
Champion also said Absecon police Officer April Kolakowski was working on a case regarding Wozniak. Kolakowksi determined Wozniak had brought a puppy to the Absecon Animal Hospital on Aug. 28 for treatment for an obstruction in its digestive tract, Shill said. Wozniak was given an estimate for the treatment of the puppy, but she never returned to the animal hospital to pay for the services rendered to the puppy and subsequently abandoned the animal.
On Tuesday, after Galloway police processed Wozniak on their charges, Linwood police traveled to Galloway to transport Wozniak to Linwood to be processed on their charges. Linwood police then transported Wozniak to Absecon to be processed on their charges.
The Prosecutor’s Office Animal Cruelty Investigations Unit assisted the municipal departments, Shill said.