Stafford Man Charged In Dog’s Death 

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STAFFORD – A 24-year-old Manahawkin man was found guilty of animal cruelty for causing the death of a Pomeranian named “Diesel.”

Joseph J. Russo was found guilty by a Grand Jury that he caused the death of the dog, according to a press release from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office.

Diesel’s owner said that she had rented a room at Russo’s home, and had left the dog alone in the house with him at around 1 a.m. on May 30, 2016. When she returned a few hours later, Russo had told her Diesel died of a seizure, police said.

Stafford police, the prosecutor’s office, the NJ SPCA and Stafford’s animal control investigated. After performing a necropsy and investigating people, Russo was charged with animal cruelty, a 3rd degree crime. The grand jury then found him guilty.