Sentencing in Sammy animal cruelty case delayed

A photo from the Sammy the cocker spaniel Facebook page shows the once-neglected animal at his new home. PHOTO COURTESY SAMMY THE COCKER SPANIEL FACEBOOK

A photo from the Sammy the cocker spaniel Facebook page shows the once-neglected animal at his new home. PHOTO COURTESY SAMMY THE COCKER SPANIEL FACEBOOK

BRICK — The sentencing of a township couple who pleaded guilty to animal cruelty charges in connection with Sammy, a 15-year-old cocker spaniel left in a trash bag in Monmouth County four months ago, has been delayed to next month.

In August, Keith E. and Shauna Ewing Morgan plead guilty to various charges as part of a plea agreement. The sentencing, which was originally scheduled for Monday, has been rescheduled for 4 p.m. Nov. 18 at Brick’s municipal court, 401 Chambers Bridge Rd. No reason was given for the postponement.

Keith Morgan, 56, pleaded guilty to animal cruelty and filing a false police report, while his wife, Shauna, 43, pleaded guilty to two counts of animal cruelty. The charges carry fines, a maximum of six months in jail and up to three years of probation.

Martin Mondoker, an administrator for the Sammy the Cocker Spaniel’s Facebook page, said the delay is nothing more than a stall tactic.

“Everyone is outraged about this,” said Mondoker, 50, of Colts Neck. “There was no reason given. Part of me thinks this is done to keep people from coming (to the) court house. During the first hearing, we had 300 people. During the next one, we had 150 and the last one we had 75.”

Sammy’s plight has attracted widespread media attention, ever since Keith Morgan, who lives on Sawmill Road, claimed he found the cocker spaniel on the side of the road in a plastic bag March 14. Morgan transported the dog to the Associated Humane Societies in Tinton Falls and, for 24 hours, he was touted as a hero.

But after an investigation, Morgan and his wife were taken into custody the next day by the Monmouth County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and accused of animal cruelty. Sammy spent approximately four weeks at Red Bank Veterinary Hospital in Tinton Falls recovering from injuries, including dehydration. The dog fully recovered.

http://www.app.com/article/20131017/NJNEWS/310170034

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