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Dozen Dogs Rescued From Pickup Truck Treated in Blairstown

A dozen of the dogs that had been rescued after their discovery in a festering pickup truck in Hampton Township were treated by the staff of the Blairstown Animal Hospital.

“We were notified on the evening of April 10th,” said Rose LoBella, the manager of the Blairstown Animal Hospital. “We went right into action mode.”

The animals—46 in all, including 38 dogs and eight cats—were discovered by State Police late in the day on April 10. More than 40 other dead animals were found in plastic bags in the bed of the truck.

The 12 dogs arrived at the hospital within a short time of being discovered, Lobella said. They were checked for lice and other infestations, then given baths.

“They had a lot of matted fur,” Lobella said. The dogs had to have their ears cleaned, often an uncomfortable procedure for the canines. But the dogs were cooperative and seemed to enjoy the attention although it was clear they were a little under-socialized, Lobella said.

“Dogs shake it off,” she said.

In general, the 12 dogs treated at the Blairstown Animal Hospital seemed healthy despite their living conditions, Lobella said. She added that they were not underfed.

“We’re very optimistic,” she said.

The dogs stayed at the hospital overnight and on Tuesday six were transferred to the
Woodbridge Animal Shelter in Woodbridge and six were moved to Father Johns Animal House in Sparta.

Anyone interested in adopting them can contact those groups.

Lobella added that woman who was keeping the dogs and cats has relinquished all ownership claims over the animals, which will make adoption much easier.

State Police said the owner of the pickup truck, Lynn Leonard, 53, of Bloxom, Virginia, has been charged with numerous counts of animal cruelty.

Joe Phalon
Joe Phalon, Contributing Writer
Contributing Writer

Joe was lured out of retirement by the opportunity to be a part of the Ridge View Echo. During a decades-long career in publishing and journalism, he has covered government on many levels from local school boards to the United States Supreme Court.

Along the way, Joe has worked at American Lawyer Magazine, The National Law Journal and The Record among other publications, and as the Press Officer of Columbia Law School. His work has been recognized with several first place awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and the New Jersey Press Association.

Being part of the Ridge View Echo brings Joe back to his roots and the kind of news coverage he loves: Telling the stories of people and local communities as well as keeping an eye on how their money is spent by their government officials.

Joe lives in Blairstown with his wife Rose, the founder of Quilting for a Cause, and their two wiener dogs. He is an artist in his spare time.