Do you remember the story back from 2019 about a dog found drowned in weighted cage in a pond in West Milford? A rescue officer with a non-profit called Last Resort found the dog. This quote on that organization’s Facebook page might jog your memory.

“The puppy was dead and ice cold, soaked inside the crate, lakebed vegetation hanging on the crate, with a crystal vase (notice price tag).”

The weirdness of that crystal vase being left inside the cage is what made me remember this case.

The puppy was a 10-week-old golden retriever. This week a Morris County woman, Tonya Fea, admitted in court that she drowned that puppy.

According to Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia Valdez, “Fea admitted under oath that on April 30, 2019, she submerged (the puppy), disregarding whether the dog was alive at the time. She further admitted the puppy died because of her actions.”

To state the obvious, this was a sick and senseless act. What’s also sick is she’s getting only a slap on the wrist for doing such a thing. The plea agreement will have prosecutors seeking 180 days in Passaic County Jail to be followed by 5 years probation. She’ll also have to do 100 days community service and she’ll receive counseling. She’s also never allowed to own a dog again.

This is a pathetically inadequate punishment. Such a depraved act deserves years in state prison not months in county.

It seems there’s no end to horrific animal abuse cases in New Jersey. In an animal hoarding case in Shamong 44 dead dogs were found frozen inside freezer bags and another 161 dogs were found living in filthy conditions.

A Tuckerton woman was sentenced to 60 days in jail after 16 malnourished dogs were found trapped in her home that was in deplorable condition.

Then there was the charm-school graduate who intentionally ran over five geese in a parking lot in Toms River. He was sentenced to 90 days in jail and two years probation.

In the case of Tonya Fea drowning her little pup in a pond, maybe the threat of a Tonya-sized weighted cage could better get the point across.

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The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski. Any opinions expressed are Jeff Deminski's own.

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