New Jersey police officers saved 67 puppies from a near-freezing van early Monday morning, authorities said.
Paramus police officers spotted the Freightliner Sprinter van parked in the back of the Just Pups store on state Route 17 in Paramus about 3 a.m., according to police. Cops later determined the van belonged to the owner of the Just Pups store.
When officers approached the van, they heard dogs whining and smelled an odor of urine and feces coming from the vehicle.
They opened an unlocked door, saw the dogs covered in feces and called animal control, authorities said. It was later determined the temperature inside the van was about 38 degrees.
Fifteen dogs needed medical attention and were taken to Oradell Animal Hospital, police said.
The Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Animal Cruelty Task Force is investigating.
The owner of the Paramus Just Pups store, Vincent LoSacco, was charged with 267 counts of animal cruelty in late February for alleged poor conditions at the East Brunswick outpost of the store. The location later had its business license revoked by the town.
Reached after those charges were filed, LoSacco said they were baseless and that an officer who issued him the summons has a personal vendetta against him. He later posted a video to Facebook saying he had been unfairly targeted.
The Paramus location had also been the target of investigations and complaints before Monday, authorities said.
LoSacco, who owns multiple Just Pups locations throughout the Garden State, couldn't be reached for comment Monday. An employee who claimed to be LoSacco's son declined to comment on the case to NBC 4 New York.
It's not clear if charges will be filed in the case.