On Monday afternoon, Keith E. Morgan and his wife Shauna Ewing Morgan of Sawmill Road in Bricktown, pleaded guilty to animal cruelty charges at the Brick Township Municipal Court in the case of a 15-year-old cocker spaniel left in a trash bag along the side of Belmar Ave. in Wall Township, N.J. last March.
According to NJ.com., Keith Morgan, 56, pleaded guilty to one count of animal cruelty and one count of filing a false police report while his wife Shauna, 43, pleaded guilty to two counts of animal cruelty.
On March 14, the Morgans claimed to have found a cocker spaniel stuffed in a garbage bag and left to die along the side of a road. The couple took the dog, who was so matted he couldn't even stand, to the Associated Humane Society in Tinton Falls. For a day, the Morgans were celebrated heroes - that is until an investigation proved that the matted, severely undernourished and neglected dog named Sammy, really belonged to the Morgans.
Sammy was treated by the Red Bank Veterinary Hospital and made a remarkable recovery.
Animal lovers were incensed by the egregious cruelty and the alleged fabricated story told by the Morgans, and have been following all developments in the case closely.
At least 70 people gathered in and outside of the courtroom to hear the defendants' plea agreement.
Monmouth County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Chief Victor "Buddy" Amato was pleased with the outcome.
The Morgans' voluntarily surrendered another dog in their possession. That dog was in good health.
Not everyone was pleased with the plea agreement. The Facebook page Justice for Sammy the cocker spaniel put in sealed garbage bag had people wondering why some of the charges were dropped and questioning why animal cruelty laws are still so lax, but everyone is ecstatic over Sammy's recovery.
It will now be up to the judge to decide on the couple's punishment. They could face up to six months in jail. The judge ordered a pre-sentencing report.
Let's hope the judge bans the couple from ever owning another pet,"stated Margie Brentworth of Palm Beach County, after hearing about the couple pleading guilty.
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