Abusers of ‘Sammy The Cocker Spaniel’ Get No Jail Time [OPINION]
It seems like just yesterday that I was tracking the horrific story of "Sammy," a cocker spaniel that was left in a trash bag at the side of the road to die. His recovery was miraculous and a joy to watch. Unfortunately, the two "people" responsible for this act will not see the inside of a jail cell.
According to Brick Patch, Superior Court Judge James Blaney sentenced Keith Morgan, 56, to 90 days of house arrest and five days of community service, while his ex-wife, Shauna Kennedy Morgan, will serve one year of probation and 30 days of community service.
The Morgans, who had pleaded guilty to neglect charges, were resentenced after they appealed a sentence handed down by Brick Township Municipal Court Judge Robert Lepore in November. Lepore sentenced both Morgans to six months in jail, a $1,000 fine and more than $13,000 in restitution to the Red Bank Veterinary Hospital.
The Morgans were charged with neglecting and starving the older, white cocker spaniel to the point where the dog could not move due to its hair being so overgrown and matted.
But defense attorney Kevin F. Sheehy, representing Keith Morgan, said his client suffers from end-stage kidney disease and is in need of a transplant. When Shauna Morgan left him in 2012, he was overwhelmed and could not care for the dog as his health deteriorated.
"It wasn’t until Mr. Morgan’s life fell apart that this period of neglect began," said Sheehy, arguing against jail time for his client because of his medical conditions that render him unable to move for hours after he gets up each morning.
Shauna Morgan's attorney, Charles Berkeley, said his client was not in the home for most of the period during which Sammy was neglected.
"She should have acted sooner, but didn’t," said Berkeley. "It was an overwhelming situation. There was never any intention to do harm to this dog."
I call B.S.! I don't care what you suffer from. Call a family member, contact a neighbor and ask them to take care of the dog, even if that means taking it to a shelter. This man was living with someone. I'm sure the illness was overwhelming, but do the right thing!
What bothers me the most, is that this goes far beyond neglect. This was abuse, plain and simple. One must question what goes through the minds of people who can stuff an animal is a plastic bag and leave it at the side of the road.
Here's the kicker. The couple's attorney say that they live a "tortured existence" because of what they did and have suffered. Really? Do you feel bad for these poor excuses for life? I don't. Judge Blaney, you had the chance to set an example, and you didn't. Shame on you.