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Judge sentences Heaven's abuser to jail

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UPDATE 1/31/14: Tyshon Taylor has chosen not to appeal his sentence, and has turned himself in to authorities this morning. He will be serving his 90-day sentence at the Monmouth County Correctional Institute.

Tyshon Taylor, 19, of Asbury Park, New Jersey, apologized to Judge Daniel DiBenedetto today in court and promised he would never harm an animal again.

That was right before he was sentenced to a 6-month jail term for each of two counts of animal cruelty, which was suspended to 90 days, for his neglect of a puppy named Heaven who had been tethered in his family's basement, unfed and living in squalor. Read original story.

DiBenedetto also sentenced Taylor to two years probation; psychological counseling; 30 days of community service; and banned him from owning another pet.

“You need to be deterred from violating the law in the future and unfortunately I believe the only way that this will be accomplished is by some period of incarceration. You have no prior criminal history and we need to maintain that.” ~ Judge DiBenedetto to Taylor

Taylor is appealing the sentence and DiBenedetto issued a 20-day stay at the request of Taylor’s attorney so he could stay out of jail during the appeal process.

In November, Taylor's grandmother, Norma Manuel, brought Heaven to Shrewsbury Animal Hospital in near-death condition. She and Taylor's mother, Amanda Boyd, were each sentenced to 60 days community service, banned from owning another pet, and issued the Monmouth County SPCA permission to inspect the home.

Manuel and Boyd will also pay $506 and $756 in restitution costs, respectively.

Wonderfully, Heaven has been adopted by Christine Jeffery, the veterinary technician who, along with Shrewsbury Animal Hospital, continues to nurse her back to health.

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