(Photo: Facebook/Associated Humane Society)
A couple in New Jersey was jailed for abusing their 17-year-old Cocker Spaniel this week.
Keith Morgan and Shauna Ewing Morgan were sentenced to six months in jail after a court hearing on Monday, Nov. 18.
Additionally, the couple were charged with animal cruelty, ordered to pay $13,000 in restitution, and were banned from ever owning another pet, according to the Asbury Park Press.
The Morgans received the animal cruelty charge back in March when their dog, Sammy, was discovered roadside in a trash bag and brought to an animal shelter. Sammy was then traced back to the couple when police issued the charges.
Sammy was treated at the Red Bank Veterinary Hospital for having fur so matted and filthy that he could not walk.
"The lack of care in this case is inexcusable," said Municipal Court Judge Robert M. LePore, according to the APP. "There has to be a deterrent to animal cruelty."
LePore hopes that the punitive action against the pet owners will serve a higher purpose of protecting animals in the future.
"Unless these individuals are imprisoned for their depraved, cruel and heinous conduct, such acts of animal cruelty will continue worldwide," he said.
After serving the jail time, Keith and Shauna Ewing Morgan are sentenced to 30 days of community service.
Despite their criminal negligence of Sammy, Keith Morgan offered an apology as well as a possible explanation for their treatment of the dog.
"I first want to say to Sammy, I'm sorry," said 56-year-old Keith who suffers from diabetes, kidney disease and depression. "I was in a bad place in my life. I didn't mean for this to happen."