A Toms River man was arrested and charged with third-degree cruelty to animals Thursday for allegedly killing his dog with car exhaust, authorities said.
Clifford Robbins, 75, is accused of suffocating his mixed-breed yellow Labrador retriever, named Mocha, by sealing the dog's carrier and attaching a hose from his car's tailpipe to the carrier. Police were called to the man's house in April and found the dog in the sealed carrier.
The next month, the New Jersey Society of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals brought the case to the attention of the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office who ordered a necropsy on Mocha. A grand jury chose to indict Robbins this month.
Robbins was processed and released and did not enter a plea. He will be formally arraigned within 50 days, authorities said.
A spokesman for the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office said it was not clear if Robbins had a lawyer. He could face up to five years in prison and fines, said a spokesman for the prosecutor.