Two Pit Bulls were left in heat described as “95 degrees in the shade” in Asbury Park, New Jersey, with no shelter and no water on June 18. The desperate dogs dug holes a foot and a half deep to try to escape the scorching sun. One was so desperate that he tried to jump over the fence to reach shade in a neighboring yard and hung himself, the Star Ledger reports.
The two women responsible for the dog’s care, Davina L. Kearney, 30, 613 Ridge Ave., and Juanita White, 48, who lives at the Oceanic Motel on Sixth Avenue, face “at least” three counts of animal cruelty, according to Vincent “Buddy” Amato, Chief of the Monmouth County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals [SPCA]. The charges each carry penalties of up to $1,000 and up to six months incarceration.
The Pit Bulls named Monster and Boogie, were owned by White, and Kearney was the owner of the property where the incident occurred, said Amato.
“There was no dog house for them to get out of the sun. They had makeshift umbrellas set up that were protecting nothing,” he said.
Monster, tried to escape by jumping over a fence into another yard where there was shade, but he died after getting caught on the fence and hanging himself, said Amato.
Boogie was chained to the fence and alive when police arrived, after a concerned neighbor contacted authorities. “These two dogs in that back yard no doubt barked and cried for a long time before the one died,” Amato said.
The specific charges that were filed against the women were (1) failure to provide proper shelter, (2) failure to provide proper water, and (3) procuring the death of a dog, Amato said. According to the Star Ledger, both women were released on their own recognizance.
The homeowner, Kearney, said the dogs belonged to friends and that she let them keep the dogs there, but that it was their responsibility to care for them--not hers, WABC reports. She reportedly told police she was doing a favor for her boyfriend's aunt, Juanita White, who asked her to keep and care for the Pit Bulls after her house burned down.
The charges will be heard in Asbury Park Municipal Court.