A man has been sentenced to a year in prison after he left a caged puppy on the shore of a river to drown.
Aaron Davis left an eight-month-old pit bull in a cage in 2018.
Thankfully the scared and whimpering puppy, who has since been named River, was rescued by Jennifer Vaz, who saw the canine as she was walking her own dog.
Ms Vaz discovered the dog at 6.15am while walking her boxer, Molly, in Veterans Memorial Park on Bay Avenue in Highlands, authorities said.
She took him to her home and alerted authorities, who said the rescued pit bull was shaken up, but in good physical shape.
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Ms Vaz initially planned to adopt River, but she had to give him up when Molly didn’t take to him.
Davis, a 36-year-old father of young children, left the dog in the perilous situation after a fight with his ex-girlfriend.
He was convicted in late 2019 of a single count of animal cruelty after leaving the animal by a river off Highlands, New Jersey, USA.
Davis is appealing his conviction, but if he serves his one year in jail, he will also have to serve 156 hours of community service at an SPCA facility.
“Animals such as River deserve the same rights as any other living creature on earth and therefore it will not be tolerated,” said Monmouth SPCA Executive Director Ross Licitra.
Animal rights activists in the courthouse on Friday celebrated Davis' punishment, and are still fighting to change the law to increase penalties for animal cruelty.
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River, now fully grown, was adopted after his terrifying ordeal and is doing well, NBC New York was told.
Elsewhere, a heartless dog owner who dumped a “comatose” dying puppy with a mystery disease is being hunted by the RSPCA.
Pet owners have also been warned about deadly flesh-eating dog disease Alabama Rot.
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