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13 Asbury Park Dogs Found Famished, Infested, Dehydrated: Owner Charged With Animal Cruelty

A dozen neglected dogs and puppies were saved as part of a case investigated by the Monmouth County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Photo Credit: Monmouth County SPCA
A dozen neglected dogs and puppies were saved as part of a case investigated by the Monmouth County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Photo Credit: Monmouth County SPCA

A 25-year-old man from Asbury Park has been charged with numerous counts of animal cruelty for neglecting 13 dogs including a puppy that died, authorities said.

Derek Bussey was charged with one count of third-degree animal cruelty and 12 counts of fourth-degree animal cruelty after the death of one puppy and the neglect of three adult dogs and nine other puppies, Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni said.

The neglected animals were found on a property in Asbury Park on July 26, based on tips from police.

The Monmouth County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was alerted by Asbury Park police to multiple reports of an adult dog running at large. 

The male dog was located, Gramiccioni said. Further investigation found an adult female dog tied up in the backyard without food or water, and an another adult female dog with her 10 puppies being kept in a non-vented enclosed garage, according to Gramiccioni.

The dogs were suffering from extreme heat, lodged on a concrete floor with no bedding, and with no access to food and water, the prosecutor said. 

All of the dogs were in poor health, with one puppy in distress, having difficulty breathing and not moving, Gramiccioni said

The dogs were taken to a local veterinary hospital where they were diagnosed and treated for flea infestation, flea allergic dermatitis and round worm exposure, in addition to dehydration, according to Gramiccioni.

The puppy that was discovered not moving and having difficulty breathing did not survive, he said.

It was later determined that Bussey was the owner of all 13 dogs and not currently living where the dogs were being kept, according to Gramiccioni.

If convicted of the third-degree charge, Bussey faces a sentence of three to five years in state prison, the prosecutor said.

Assistant Prosecutor Melanie Falco is handling the case.

Bussey is scheduled for a detention hearing on Wednesday before Superior Court Judge Paul X. Escandon.

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