Prosecutor: Man Who Left Dog in Cage to Drown Gets One Year in Prison

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 was sentenced on Friday to a year in prison, Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni said.

Aaron D. Davis, 36, of Long Branch, who was held in jail until trial, was sentenced 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. Davis was also ordered to pay $731.46 restitution and perform 156 hours of community service. He was also banned from owning pets while on parole.

The case background …

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 a.m. 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,” Gramiccioni said. “Had this passerby not been at the exact right place at the exact right time, River would have drowned due to the rising tides.”

— Edited press release from the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office