Arrests linked to dead animals in house

March 30, 2009 9:58:59 AM PDT
It's one of the worst cases of animal neglect South Jersey officials say they've ever seen. More than 60 animals - dogs, cats, hamsters and other pets - likely starved to death inside an Ocean County home. No one is quite sure how long the home was empty, but we know that the last occupants are charged with cruelty to animals, and if convicted face up to 5 years in jail.

Matt Teymant is a dispatcher for the Toms River Police Department. He and his wife Amanda are each free on $25,000 bail.

It was yesterday that the N.J. SPCA was called by Barnegat Police to 21 Potomac Court. Inside the home previously occupied by the Teymants were 64 dead animals - some in various stages of decomposition. There were cats, dogs, guinea pigs, turtles and other small animals.

Police say the home was in foreclosure and it was a locksmith called to change the locks that made the gruesome discovery.

Everyone seems to be at a loss as to why the animals were left in the house.

"It would have taken one phone call to get the proper agency here to care for and protect these animals," said Lt. Pat Shaffery.

Matt Tayment's father is a retired K9 officer with Toms River and the police chief there says Tayment was known to love animals and would frequently rescue them. The N.J. SPCA tells Action News this appears to be an animal lovers rescue gone bad.

Police would not say how long the home was vacant. Some neighbors say it was months. The Toms River Police Department is reviewing the case before deciding if Matt Teymant will be let go from his job as a dispatcher.