A New Jersey woman was criminally charged Tuesday, days after she allegedly drowned a 10-week-old golden retriever puppy by placing it in a cage and dumping it into a pond.
Tonya Fea, 47, is facing two counts of animal cruelty for the death of a female golden retriever puppy who was found dead in Greenwood Pond on April 30. While Fea claimed the puppy was dead when she dumped its body in the pond, authorities revealed the dog’s cause of death was asphyxia—suggesting it was alive when it was left to drown, according to an affidavit acquired by the North Jersey Record.
In a Facebook post, Last Resort Rescue claimed a rescue officer with the organization spotted the crate that contained a lead-crystal vase, possibly used to weigh down the cage, and the deceased puppy, which had bloodied wee-wee pads stuck to her head. Last Resort named the puppy Jenny and urged the public for information regarding her death.
Authorities reportedly received two anonymous tips as news of the dog’s death spread. According to the Record, a West Milford Animal Hospital employee told detectives that Fea and her husband were regular clients and Fea had scheduled an appointment for her puppy on the day the dog was found. Fea reportedly didn’t go to the appointment and didn’t cancel.
Fea was released from custody pending a May 22 court date. WNYW reported that she faces 10 years in prison if convicted.
[Featured image: Tonya Fea/Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office]