A New Jersey man is facing an animal cruelty charge after allegedly killing one of his girlfriend's toy poodles earlier this month following an argument.
Nicholas Winter, 35 and of Asbury Park, was charged with third degree animal cruelty resulting in death and abandoning a domestic animal (a disorderly persons offense), Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Lori Linskey announced Wednesday.
If convicted on the more serious charge against him, he would face up to five years in state prison.
Attorney information for Winter was not immediately known.
A joint investigation by the Asbury Park Police Department and the Monmouth County SPCA found that after an argument, Winter allegedly texted his girlfriend repeatedly and threatened the welfare of her dogs while she was at work.
Prosecutors say that shortly before 4 a.m. on June 4, the Asbury Park Police Department responded to a residence on Locust Drive and found a dead 12-year-old male dog named Bentley.
Sophia, the girlfriend's other dog, a 14-year-old female, was initially reported missing, but found several hours later.
A subsequent necropsy performed on Bentley determined that the dog died from blunt-force trauma.
“We take animal cruelty cases extremely seriously in Monmouth County. Taking the life of a defenseless animal as a means to emotionally traumatize its owner is reprehensible and tragic,” Linskey said. “We thank the joint efforts of the Asbury Park Police Department and the SPCA for their work on this case and their compassion for the canine victim in this case.”