Charges are expected to be filed against the owners of two dogs who died after being left outside during dangerously cold temperatures in South Jersey.
Atlantic County SPCA investigators responded Monday to an anonymous call about a puppy frozen inside its dog house off Jackson Road in Buena Vista Township.
They arrived to find the puppy dead, along with a female dog, possibly the puppy's mother, who was cold and malnourished.
The female dog was rushed to a veterinary clinic, where she died overnight.
"Honestly, I barely slept last night and I woke up this morning to news that the second dog has passed away," said Atlantic County SPCA Humane Law Enforcement Agent Kate Warden.
Authorities said the puppy appeared to be less than 6 months old and was underweight. Both dogs’ water bowls were filled only with ice.
Officials would not reveal the identity of the dogs’ owners because they’re still preparing to file animal cruelty charges, including failure to provide proper shelter, adequate food and veterinary care.
"Please bring your animals indoors," Warden implored community members. "There is no excuse to have more animals dying in this extreme cold weather."
Investigators hope results of the necropsies, or animal autopsies, will be revealed Wednesday and plan to file charges afterward.