The dog allegedly tossed from a car on the Garden State Parkway on Saturday afternoon has gone home with his owners as the search continues for suspects.

Lema, the terrier allegedly thrown onto the Garden State Parkway before being released from the Red Bank Veterinary Hospital (Red Bank Veterinary Hospital)

The Monmouth County SPCA's chief law enforcement officer, Victor "Buddy" Amato, says there are no credible leads and are hoping that someone who may have seen the incident will contact police. There is a reward of over $1.000 reward for information that leads to an arrest and conviction in the case.

Amato says people have been contributing to grow the reward.


ABC 7 reports the dog, whose name is Lema, was stolen on Saturday from his Keansburg owners shortly before being thrown from a moving vehicle onto the Parkway around exit #116 in Holmdel.  Amato says the family reported Lema missing on Saturday afternoon and were following the proper procedures when they spotted Lema's picture as the one from the Parkway incident.

Dog that was thrown out the window of a moving car on the Garden State Parkway (Red Bank Veterinary Hospital)

Amato stresses that the family is not suspected in the case and that he would not have sent Lema home if they were. He says the family wishes to remain anonymous and says "Thank you to everyone who has been so supportive and diligent in helping our girl.”

Because the suspects who stole Lema entered the Parkway on a non-tolled ramp, Amato says there are no cameras that may have captured an image of the vehicle.

After landing on the roadway Saturday between 12 noon and 1 p.m., the brown female mixed terrier was struck by another car. A good Samaritan who saw what happened stayed with the dog and also called state police. A trooper rushed the dog to the veterinary hospital, where doctors were able to stop its internal bleeding and treat other injuries.

Before learning of the terrier's name, Amato, named the dog "Tara" in honor of New Jersey State Police trooper Tara Karagias who responded to the scene.  “By her [the state trooper] racing it over to the Red Bank animal hospital, they were able to control the internal bleeding,” Amato told “The dog would have went into shock and died if she didn’t do that.”

New Jersey Fast Traffic reports the Parkway was packed with shore-bound drivers early Saturday afternoon. Investigators are trying to determine if the dog was thrown from the vehicle or if it jumped out a window. If the investigation determines the dog was intentionally thrown from the vehicle, the driver and/or the person responsible could be charged with an indictable crime and face up to six months in jail.


The Associated Press contributed to this report