The Brick Township couple who brought a nearly dead dog covered in its own excrement to a Tinton Falls animal shelter claiming it was found on the side of a road have officially been charged with three counts of animal cruelty, authorities said Monday.
Keith E. Morgan, 56, and Shauna Ewing Morgan, 43, of Sawmill Road, have each been charged with abandonment, failure to provide sustenance and causing unnecessary suffering, said Charles Webster, Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office spokesman.
Additionally, Keith Morgan is charged with interfering with an investigation, Webster said.
The charges, disorderly persons offenses, carry a maximum of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine, Webster said.
An investigation is ongoing, Webster said. Charges may be added.
The Morgans were charged and released, Webster said. No bail was required.
Meanwhile, the aged Cocker Spaniel taken in by the Associated Humane Society is recovering at the Red Bank Veterinary Hospital and responding well to treatment. He has begun to eat on his own, hospital staff has said.
"We keep telling Sammy how the world is rooting for him and he continues to gain strength," staff said.
Keith Morgan walked into the Tinton Falls AHS building with the nearly deceased dog claiming that he had found the animal in a tied garbage bag on the side of Belmar Boulevard in Wall.
But his story didn't add up, Chief Humane Law Enforcement Officer Victor “Buddy” Amato of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has said.
Amato investigated the claim and found that the dog, named Samurai, was registered to the Morgans in 2007.
Investigators now believe the dog is about 13- to 14-years old, Webster said.