MONMOUTH COUNTY – The man who allegedly left a dog to drown, trapped inside a cage in Veterans Memorial Park on July 31 has been brought in on animal cruelty charges, Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni announced.
On July 31, Jennifer Vaz came across a pitbull trapped inside a cage while walking her own dog in the area. The cage was submerged halfway in the water as the tide rose. Vaz was able to rescue the pitbull, named River, and then contacted the Monmouth County SPCA and Highlands Animal Control. Vaz later adopted River as her own.
Following the incident, the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office SPCA Division and Highlands and Long Branch Police searched for 36-year old Aaron Davis of Long Branch, who was believed to be responsible for leaving the dog trapped and in danger of drowning.
On August 3, Davis 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 7, Davis turned himself in and is currently being held at the Monmouth County Correctional Institution.
“I’m proud to announce that earlier this morning [August 7] Mr. Davis surrendered to authorities without incident,” said Gramiccioni. “The next step in this whole process will be that he’ll likely appear before a New Jersey Superior Court Judge in Monmouth County to face these charges tomorrow afternoon [August 8].”
If convicted of Third Degree Animal Cruelty, Davis could receive up to 5 years in state prison. On each disorderly person’s offense, he faces a separate 6-month period of incarceration, according to the County.
Gramiccioni noted that a report from the Monmouth County SPCA shows River is doing great, has a clean bill of health, and any injuries he sustained in the incident have been treated successfully.