Case Snapshot
Case ID: 19187
Classification: Neglect / Abandonment
Animal: dog (pit-bull)
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Defense(s): Charles W. Clemens

For more information about the Interactive Animal Cruelty Maps, see the map notes.

Tuesday, Jan 3, 2012

County: Somerset

Disposition: Convicted

Defendant/Suspect: Jonathan Sarles

Case Updates: 1 update(s) available

The son of a township councilwoman is facing charges of animal cruelty after allegedly leaving five pit bulls outside in freezing cold.

Jonathan Sarles, 31, is facing 10 counts of animal cruelty charges after township police found five pit bulls left in what officials described as "inhumane conditions."

Police, who were responding to the Old York Road property about 3 a.m. on Jan. 3 on an unrelated matter, said they found three dogs inside crates in a van that was covered in front and ice, according to the Somerset County Division of the state Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

Two other dogs were "stuffed" into tight-fitting carriers in a breezeway, officials said. The SPCA noted that the temperature that morning was in the low 20s.

The dogs were confiscated and remain in the custody of the St. Hubert's Animal Welfare Center. The animals are expected to survive, according to a release.

The case against Sarles was moved to Bedminster Municipal Court because of the conflict of interest of his relationship to Branchburg Committeewoman Kate Sarles. His first appearance is scheduled for 9 a.m., Feb. 14.

Reached at his mother's home Thursday, Sarles declined to comment on the charges.

SPCA spokesman Joe Biermann said the animal protection agency wants a judge to prevent Sarles from owning any animals for five to 10 years.

If found guilty, Sarles faces a fines up to $10,000, jail and community service, the SPCA said.

Branchburg Police could not be reached Thursday afternoon.

Case Updates

A Branchburg man has been banned from owning more than one dog for the next five years after agreeing to pay $2,000 worth of fines in an animal cruelty case.

Jonathan Sarles was slapped with the charges Jan. 3 after police were called to his residence on an unrelated domestic matter and found the dogs left outside in the cold in "inhumane conditions," the Somerset County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said at the time.

Officials found three dogs in a frost-covered van and two dogs in tight-fitting carriers in a breezeway.

Sarles' case was heard in Bernards Municipal Court because his mother is an elected committeewoman in Branchburg.

The criminal charges against Sarles were dropped in court, according to his attorney, Charles W. Clemens of Somerville.

Sarles will pay a $2,000 fine to the county SPCA and $2,500 in restitution to Madison-based St Hubert's, which provides animal control services to the township and treated the dogs after they were confiscated from Sarles.

Sarles must meet all medical needs for his pit bull and submit to quarterly inspections by St. Hubert's, the county SPCA said in a statement Tuesday.
Source: - Feb 14, 2012
Update posted on Feb 14, 2012 - 8:03PM 


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