Man Who Left Dog To Drown Set Free

Photo courtesy Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office

FREEHOLD – The individual who left a dog to drown at Veterans Memorial Park in Highlands in July has been set free, according to officials.

Aaron Davis, 34, of Long Branch was charged with Third Degree Animal Cruelty, Abandonment of a Domesticated Animal, Failure to Provide Necessary Care, and Failure to Provide Proper Shelter on August 3 for leaving the animal, a Pitbull-mix, trapped in a cage to drown. Davis surrendered to Monmouth County authorities on August 7.

Originally sentenced to Monmouth County Jail pending a trial, Davis was released on September 19 after the Appellate Division overturned the August 13 ruling of Superior Court Judge James J. McGann in Freehold.

Davis was sentenced to jail by McGann on Aug. 13 because he was considered a public safety risk.

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Photo courtesy Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office

Conditions of Davis’s release state that he is not to have any contact with animals and a witness in the case. No trial date has been set yet.

During the hearing, Davis’ reasoning behind attempting to drown the dog was revealed. Davis allegedly tried to drown the dog on July 30 to get back at his girlfriend’s former partner, who broke into her home. The girlfriend was identified as Kathleen Palumbo; the ex-boyfriend, Bonito Williams.

Davis left the dog in the cage at approximately 3 a.m., claiming he was bringing him to a friend’s.

The dog was saved from drowning by Jennifer Vaz who was walking along the bay at approximately 6 a.m. Vaz contacted local authorities and Monmouth County SPCA. She then adopted the dog, naming him River.

Prior to this, the dog was named Blaze and was given to Palumbo by Williams. She was reportedly trying to find a new home for Blaze.