MAYS LANDING— After a cooperative investigation by four Atlantic County law enforcement agencies, a Galloway Township woman is facing animal cruelty, theft and other charges, Acting Atlantic County Prosecutor Cary Shill announced.
Jodi Wozniak, 45, is charged with animal cruelty and additional charges in Absecon, Galloway Township and Linwood, following a cooperative investigation by the municipality police departments and the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office Animal Cruelty Investigations Unit.
The charges against Wozniak from each municipality are as follows:
Absecon Police Department:
- 3RD degree Theft of services
Galloway Township Police Department:
- 4TH degree Cruelty to Animals- 5 COUNTS
Linwood Police Department:
- Theft of Services
- Fraudulent Use of a Credit Card
- Cruelty to Animals- 2 COUNTS
On Thursday, September 16, 2021, ACPO Investigator Denise Manino received a telephone call from Galloway Twp. Officer David LaSassa, regarding five adult dogs of what appeared to be German Shepherd / Belgian Malinois breed that had appeared to be abandoned in the woods in the area of N. Pitney Road in Galloway. Officer LaSassa stated that some of the dogs were tethered to a tree and others were inside kennels with no food or water. The dogs— that were owned by Wozniak—had been left alone for at least 15 hours according to the owner of the property. The dogs were taken to Atlantic County Animal Shelter and put on a protective hold and at that time Wozniak refused to surrender the dogs. Investigator Manino received a phone call on Sept. 21, 2021, from Officer LaSassa stating Wozniak was in custody for trespassing back on the property she was ordered not to return to, following a judicial eviction order that was signed on Sept. 13, 2021.
On Tuesday, September 21, 2021, ACPO Investigator Manino received a phone call from Sgt. Charles Champion of the Linwood Police Department, reporting that Wozniak had brought in puppies that appeared to be German Shepherd / Belgian Malinois breed like dogs, all suffering from the Parvo virus, to Linwood Animal Hospital parvo. Three of these Parvo infected puppies were euthanized. One puppy was returned to Wozniak and one puppy was still at Linwood Animal Hospital receiving treatment. Wozniak called Linwood Animal Hospital and used a stolen credit card to pay for some of the services rendered to the 5 puppies. Wozniak has surrendered one surviving puppy that is infected with Parvo and is still being treated at the Linwood Animal Hospital.
Sgt. Champion also stated that Absecon Police Department Officer April Kolakowski was working on a case regarding Wozniak. Through an investigation, Officer Kolakowksi determined that Wozniak had brought a puppy into the Absecon Animal Hospital on August 28, 2021, for treatment for an obstruction in its digestive track. Wozniak was given an estimate for the treatment of the puppy, however, she never returned to the Absecon Animal Hospital to pay for the services rendered to the puppy and she subsequently abandoned the animal.
On Sept. 21, 2021, after Galloway Police processed Wozniak on their charges, Linwood Police Department traveled to Galloway Township to transport Wozniak to Linwood to be processed on their charges. Linwood Police would then transport Wozniak to Absecon Police Department to be processed on their charges.
Atlantic County Assistant Prosecutor Lynn Heyer represents the state in this matter.
***These charges are merely an accusation and not proof of guilt. In all criminal cases, a charged defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. ***
Anyone with information involving serious crimes is asked to call the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office at 609-909-7800 or go to the Prosecutor’s Office Web site at http://www.acpo.org/tips.html and provide information by filling out the form anonymously on the Submit a Tip page. People can also call Crime Stoppers at 609-652-1234 or 1-800-658-8477(TIPS) or visit the Crime Stoppers Website at http://www.crimestoppersatlantic.com/. Crime Stoppers offers cash rewards for information leading to the arrest and indictment of those who commit crimes in Atlantic County.