Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on June 23, 2021, Allissa DeStefano, age 30, of Toms River, was indicted by a Grand Jury sitting in Ocean County on 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 abandoned them in the residence, which resulted in their death.  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 acknowledges the diligent efforts of Assistant Prosecutor Kimberly Carr who is handling the case on behalf of the State, as well as the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office and the Lacey Township Police Department for their collaborative efforts relative to this investigation resulting in DeStefano’s indictment.

The charges referenced above are merely accusations and the press and public are reminded that all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.  R.P.C.3.6(b)(6).