CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE - The animal cruelty trial of three Middle Township residents continued today.

N.J. SPCA investigator Theresa Cooper, who has been testifying since Tuesday, is still on the witness stand.

Cooper obtained the December 2010 search warrant for a home on Goshen Road that led to the arrests of Leroy Thoma Jr., Dawn Scheld and Leann Thomas.

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Defense attorney Robert Pinizotto questioned Cooper about the reasons why Scheld was getting dogs from a high-kill shelter in North Carolina and bringing them to New Jersey.

Cooper said Scheld told her she was getting dogs from a shelter where they were likely to be put to sleep using a heartstick, a method that Cooper said was an inhumane method of euthanasia.

Cooper also said Scheld told her she was putting the dogs out for adoption, and Scheld never said she was "selling" the dogs she kept on her property.

Sixty-one dogs were seized from the Scheld/Thomas home in 2010. The prosecution says they were living in deplorable conditions.

The prosecution charges that the motivation for keeping the dogs was to make money.

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