A 19-year-old Union County man is facing criminal charges of animal cruelty after severely neglecting three pets, two of who died, authorities said.
Plainfield police were called to Rock Avenue on reports of a suspicious item dumped on the side of the road, where they found the body of a severely emaciated pit bull inside of a plastic bag on Nov. 3, Union County Assistant Prosecutor Patricia Cronin said.
A subsequent investigation found that Aiden R. Turso, 19, had three pets that had suffered severe neglect, Union County Prosecutor Lyndsay V. Ruotolo said.
Those pets include the pit bull, Cinnamon; a second dog, Jax, who was surrendered to the Humane Society in emaciated condition later in November; and a cat, Buddy, who was euthanized in late December after being taken to a local veterinarian in a comatose state, also emaciated and covered in fleas, Ruotolo said alongside local officials.
Turso was charged with two counts of third-degree failure to provide necessary care to an animal, leading to its death; two counts of fourth-degree animal cruelty offenses; and fourth-degree hindering apprehension.
He was served the criminal charges against him via summons earlier this month, with an initial appearance scheduled to take place in Union County Superior Court 8:30 a.m. on Feb. 19.
“We hope these charges send a clear message to anyone who needs to hear it – this sort of conduct isn’t just wrong, it’s criminal,” acting Prosecutor Ruotolo said.
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