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The Journals are the premier publications for high-quality, hyperlocal news and advertising in Monmouth County, New Jersey

Feb 14, 2020

Davis Sentenced in ‘River’ Animal Cruelty Case

Aaron Davis

A Long Branch man convicted last year of locking an 8-month-old pit bull puppy in a small wire cage and leaving that cage in the rising tide of the Sandy Hook Bay in Highlands was sentenced to a year in prison, announced Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.

Aaron D. Davis, 36, of Long Branch, was sentenced to one year in a Monmouth County Correctional Institute by Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Marc C. LeMieux. The sentence comes after Davis was found guilty in December of fourth-degree animal cruelty following a three-day trial before Judge LeMieux. Judge LeMieux also ordered Davis to pay restitution and perform community service. Davis was facing up to 18 months in prison, fines up to $10,000 and up to 30 days of community service when he was convicted in December 2019.

An investigation by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Division, and the Highlands Police Department was conducted after a passerby spotted a dog in a crate on a small portion of sand between the bulkhead and the water at approximately 6 am on July 30, 2018. The passerby climbed over the ropes, down the rock barrier and onto the sand to rescue the dog, who was later named River. The investigation revealed Davis took the puppy following a domestic dispute in the early morning hours.  Highlands police responded to the domestic incident and captured video footage of the puppy which helped to identify the dog the following day.

“Abusing defenseless animals is an intolerable act and even more despicable when the animal was abused in retaliation to ‘get back’ at its owner. Had this passerby not been at the exact right place at the exact right time, River would have drowned due to the rising tides,” Gramiccioni said.

The case was prosecuted by Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Amanda Dalton Clark.

Davis is represented by Adamo Ferriera, Esq., of Hackensack.