Man Sentenced In Service Dog Killing

Photo courtesy Ocean County Prosecutor's Office

TOMS RIVER – A 25-year-old Manahawkin man was sentenced Monday in the killing of a service-dog-in-training.

Joseph Russo was sentenced to 90 days in jail and five years’ probation for the killing of a three-year-old Pomeranian named Diesel, who was training to be a therapy/service dog for his owner, Abigail Russell, a Navy veteran.

Russo pleaded guilty on June 4 to animal cruelty charges.

In addition to his jail and probation sentence, he must complete 30 hours of community service, complete anger management classes and is prohibited from owning or working with animals during his probation.