Jefferson woman charged with drowning 10-week-old puppy

| 07 May 2019 | 05:11

West Milford Police and the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office have charged a Jefferson Township woman with drowning a 10-week-old puppy in Greenwood Pond last week, officials announced Tuesday afternoon.
According to a press release from the prosecutor’s office, Tonya Fea, 47, of Jefferson is charged with two counts of third degree animal cruelty and one count of defiant trespass, a petty disorderly persons offense, police said in the release.
A 10-week-old golden retriever puppy was discovered submerged in a cage in Greenwood Pond off Bonter Road on April 30.
According to police, the puppy was discovered in the metal crate with a crystal vase and wee-wee pads on the pond’s edge by a local rescue shelter worker.
The corpse was taken to the New Jersey Department of Agriculture’s animal Health Diagnostic Laboratory for a necropsy, police said.
Fea was charged following an investigation by county and township police.
Police said she was issued a summons and released pending resolution of the case.
She is expected to appear at Central Judicial Processing Court on May 22, police said.
A graphic Facebook post from the Last Resort Rescue of Hewitt later on April 30, said that one of the officers of that organization discovered the crate on the edge of the pond.
“One of our rescue officers at The Last Resort Rescue noticed a crate at the edge of the pond on Bonter Road on the Oak Ridge side of town today with a puppy in it,” the post said. “The puppy was dead and ice cold, soaked inside the crate, lakebed vegetation hanging on the crate, with a crystal vase and wee wee pads stuck to the side of her head with a small amount of blood on them.”
The organization initially posted a $1,200 reward for information leading to the arrest of the person responsible, and asked the public for donations to increase the amount.
It has since grown to more than $12,000 with more than 200 donors after the story went viral on social media and was picked up by media in the New York metropolitan region through the Associated Press.
During last week’s Township Council meeting, Mayor Michele Dale expressed her confidence in the local police department to find the responsible party.
“I have full faith in our police department that we can bring this matter to justice,” Dale said.
The Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office asks anyone with additional information about this incident to contact us on our tips line at 1-877-370-PCPO or or contact West Milford Detective Eric Darnsteadt at 973-728-2810.