PASSAIC COUNTY, New Jersey – Tonya Fea has been charged with animal cruelty and defiant trespassing after drowning a 10-week-old golden retriever puppy in a weighted cage in a pond in New Jersey.
Fea, 47, claimed the dog was already dead when she put it in the water, according to police, but an autopsy conducted by the New Jersey State Police forensic lab contradicts that claim.
The test results from the lab indicate that the dog died from asphyxia due to immersion in water, NJ.com reported.
The Last Resort Rescue posted a lengthy Facebook post seeking information on April 30, saying in part:
"The puppy was dead and ice cold, soaked inside the crate, lakebed vegetation hanging on the crate, with a lead crystal ice bucket inside the crate (notice price tag) and wee wee pads stuck to the side of her head with a small amount of blood on them."
According to the rescue, a $12,000 reward will be given to the parties that West Milford Police credit for giving the information that led to Fea's arrest.
Fea reportedly admitted to submerging the dog with the glass bowl after initially denying she had a puppy at all.
She is scheduled to appear in court May 22, according to NJ.com.