A Jefferson resident has been charged with two counts of animal cruelty and defiant trespass. Tonya Fea, 47, was arrested by West Milford police in connection with the death of a Golden Retriever puppy.

According to West Milford police and the Passaic County prosecutor, a female golden retriever puppy was found on April 30 in a submerged cage in Greenwood Pond on Bonter Road. The puppy was taken to the New Jersey Department of Agriculture Animal Health Diagnostic Laboratory, where a necropsy was performed. Based on the investigation, Fea was arrested on May 7.

The maximum sentences are five years in a state prison on each count of third degree animal cruelty and 30 days in the county jail on the petty disorderly persons offense of defiant trespass. Fea is scheduled to appear in court on May 22.

According to the New Jersey Herald, a volunteer with Last Resort Rescue found the cage at the edge of a pond, which is allegedly a “popular drop-off spot” for unwanted pets. The rescue group stated that the puppy had already died from intentional drowning when the volunteer discovered the cage.

To provide additional information about this incident, contact the Passaic County prosecutor’s office tips line at 877-370-7276; detective Eric Darnsteadt at 973-728-2801; or tips@passaiccountynj.org.

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