LACEY — A vigil on Saturday evening will remember three dogs that were found dead after being left in an abandoned house.

Lacey police on Nov. 11 responded to a report that dogs possibly had been abandoned in a township residence. Police found the remains of three dogs, according to Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer.

The discovery of the dogs was announced by Billhimer on Nov. 12 but no details were provided until Thursday, when Allissa DeStefano, 29, was arrested and charged with three counts of animal cruelty.

Billhimer said DeStefano was responsible for their care and abandoned them.

Neighbors said they were aware of the situation and Celine Montana created a Facebook page in honor of the dogs named Gizmo, Fred and Kobe. She also organized a vigil for Saturday at 6:30 p.m. at Gillen Park in the Forked River section of Lacey.

Montana told New Jersey 101.5 that she is a huge animal lover with three dogs of her own and was heartbroken over Gizmo, Fred and Kobe.

"I figured if there was a way the community could come together and remember these dogs and not let it get swept under the rug and be another story that everyone forgets in a week or two, which is what usually happens with a lot of animal cruelty cases, and that's not fair," Montana said.

She said she is making a board with candles and lanterns and will allow people to speak about the dogs.

A jar will also be placed on a table for people to write positive things about Gizmo, Fred and Kobe and why they are upset about this.

"I'm going to deliver it to the prosecutor's office just to show them that people really care about these animals."

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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