A Northfield woman faces several animal cruelty charges after one her four abandoned dogs was found dead on a property she owns in Mays Landing.
Kimberlynn Jurkowski, 59, is charged with four counts of animal cruelty and four counts of abandoning a domesticated animal, police said.
But residents say police were warned about the dogs before the death and did nothing to stop it.
Hamilton Township police responded to 1261 Scranton Ave. in Mays Landing’s Mizpah section on March 6, for an animal cruelty investigation.
Police found that four dogs were in kennels outside of the residence, according to the report. One was dead.
Terri Wilson told BreakingAC she was one of several people who called warning police that the dogs were in danger. The dog who died was named Poseidon, she said.
A recorded message the responding officer left another resident who reported the issue said that the four dogs had what seemed to him to be adequate shelter with food and water.
He said the temperature was about 30 degrees, but he had left a message for the owner telling her they should be brought in since it was going to get cold that night.
“I wanted to give you a heads up that no action was taken because I didn’t feel it was appropriate,” the officer is heard saying.
Reformers – Advocates for Animal Shelter Change in NJ obtained the officer’s body camera footage through an Open Public Records Request, and have posted it on their Facebook page pushing for answers. They also started a hashtag of #justiceforposeidon.
A request for information by BreakingAC led to a news release Wednesday.
A necropsy found that the dog died of congestive heart failure, according to a veterinarian pathologist at the New Jersey Animal Health Laboratory in Ewing.
Initial attempts to contact Jurkowski were unsuccessful, so Shore Animal Control took custody of the three remaining dogs.
The Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office and the Atlantic County Animal Shelter also assisted in the investigation.
Jurkowski was formerly an Atlantic City school librarian but was forced to give up her state teaching license after she was convicted in a tutoring scam in 2013 that involved defrauding Hamilton Township of nearly $24,000.
She was accepted into pretrial intervention and, upon her completion, she tried to get her job back, but was denied by the state denied her. She tried to appeal the decision, but lost, court records show.
Jurkowski now apparently works as a teacher in Washington, D.C., according to her Facebook page, which has her still living in Northfield.
The page has several public posts about a successful fund-raising campaign for her students done through DonorsChoose.org.
The organization collects the money and purchases the items the teacher requests, shipping them to them directly to the school, Vice President of Brand and Communications told BreakingAC.
“We never send cash to teachers, nor do we allow them to ship to their homes or an alternate address,” he said. “When we send materials to a teacher, we also notify the principal and other teachers at the school who use DonorsChoose.org that new materials are on the way. Those materials then become school property.”