Authorities: NJ Couple Left Emaciated Dog Chained To Backyard Fence For Days After Moving Away

A Union County couple who left their dog tied to a backyard fence for days after moving to Georgia has been charged with animal cruelty, authorities said Thursday.

Husky puppy left chained up in Roselle.
Husky puppy left chained up in Roselle. Photo Credit: Associated Humane Popcorn Park Shelter

Curtis Swan and Aaleyah Clay's male Husky was found emaciated and bleeding with infected wounds in the backyard of a Roselle home on Nov. 20, Union County Prosecutor Lyndsay V. Ruotolo and Roselle Police Chief Brian Barnes jointly announced Thursday.

Swan, 27, and Clay, 29, were both charged with third-degree causing serious bodily injury to a domesticated animal via neglect, as well as abandonment of a domesticated animal, a disorderly persons offense, Ruotolo said.

An animal control officer with the state's Humane Society responded to the 300 block of White Street in Roselle for a welfare check of a possibly abandoned dog in need of medical help, according to Union County Assistant Prosecutor Patricia Cronin, the Prosecutor’s Office’s designated animal cruelty liaison.

The dog, a young male Husky, had a severe infection and open wound around his neck, a "product of being tied to the backyard fence," authorities said.

The officer reported the matter to the Roselle Police Department, which spurred an investigation.

The investigation found the couple had moved to their new home in Georgia five days earlier and, on Nov. 15, apparently told a neighbor they'd eventually return -- but no date was given, Ruotolo said.

The dog was taken to the Newark branch of Associated Humane Societies of New Jersey for medical treatment, then transferred to an affiliated shelter in South Jersey for recovery.

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