Sammy The Cocker Spaniel’s Owners Get Maximum Sentence for Abuse
Keith and Shauna Morgan of Brick got the maximum sentence on Monday for their abuse of Sammy the Cocker Spaniel.
The Brick couple has been sentenced to six months in prison, three years probation and fines in a Wall courtroom according to News 12 New Jersey.
The Patch of Wall reports the couple has been ordered to pay $13,000 in restitution to the Red Bank Veterinary Hospital for nursing Sammy back to help largely with the volunteered efforts of their staff.
The couple cannot own an animal in the future reports NJ.com.
Shauna expressed remorse at sentencing for not getting her husband help. "It was a bad time in my life," said Keith according to the Patch.Their lawyer said that Keith's life had "fell off the tracks" and that by lying about how he found Sammy that the dog would get the attention he needed.
Municipal prosecutor Steven Zabarsky noted that the Morgans neglected Sammy while a second dog, Ady, was well cared for.
Many in the courtroom who were members of the Sammy the Cocker Spaniel Facebook page cheered when sentencing was announced by Judge Robert LePore according to the Star-Ledger. “This court believes that a message needs to be sent not just to these defendants, but to all of society that animal cruelty is a national and global problem and must be addressed and deterred,” LePore said
The couple pleaded guilty in August to abuse and animal cruelty and filing a false report with police while his wife pleaded guilty on two counts of abuse and neglect. Charges of abandonment against the couple were dropped.
Keith Morgan brought a badly abused Sammy to the Associated Humane Society in Tinton Falls last spring claiming he had watched a car put a bag with Sammy inside along Belmar Boulevard in Brick.
Further investigation by Victor "Buddy" Amato, chief humane law enforcement for the Monmouth SPCA revealed the dog, which was covered in waste, was actually owned by the Morgans, leading to their arrest on charges of animal cruelty and filing a false report.
Sammy has recovered from his injuries and is living with a new family. He was named by Buzzfeed as one of the "10 Senior Dogs On Facebook That Are Cooler Than You" in October. "His recovery and his family’s fight for justice has captured the hearts of thousands as we went from horror to joy, watching Sammy find health, love and happiness in his new life," wrote the website in placing him in the #9 position.
- Former owners of Sammy the dog sentenced to 6 months in animal neglect, abuse case / News 12 New Jersey
- Brick Pair Sentenced To Six Months In Jail For Abusing Sammy the Dog / Patch of Wall
- Brick couple sentenced to 6 months in jail for abusing dog, Sammy / NJ.com
- 10 Senior Dogs On Facebook That Are Cooler Than You / Buzzfeed