NEW JERSEY — A woman has been arrested after police say they found dozens of animals dead and alive in her van parked behind a New Jersey mall.

The Virginia woman left her truck behind a Marshall on Route 206 at the Sussex County Mall in Newton, the officer said. That’s where investigators say they found 38 dogs and eight cats inside the truck on Monday.

The remains of more than 40 other animals were also found in trash bags, according to the group Eleventh Hour Rescue, which sent volunteers to help deal with the rotten situation. The group said the animals had been in the car for days.

“These animals have been living in these deplorable conditions since Thursday and who knows what they went through before that. The stench of this vehicle could be smelled from the road,” the rescue group wrote in a Facebook post. are still burning from inhaling the fumes. Everything was soaked in feces, urine and animal remains.”

Surviving animals have been taken to shelters and will eventually be put up for adoption.

“I think we say that every time we think, ‘Oh, this is the craziest story we’ve ever seen.’ And then it was really the craziest thing we’ve ever seen. Seeing them in a truck was amazing. And then they put them in boxes as they were caught and found, “said Megan Brinster, executive director of the Ramapo-Bergen animal shelter.

Police did not say why the woman had the animals. She was charged with animal cruelty.

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