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Tuesday, Jul 19, 2005County: Somerset
Alleged: Darrick Doughty
A borough man faces several animal cruelty charges after three puppies he told authorities he was caring for fell to their deaths from the balcony of his Second Avenue home on July 19.
The New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has charged Darrick Doughty, 28, of 52 N. Second Ave. with two counts each of causing the death of an animal and for failing to provide proper shelter for a mother pit bull mix and her five 3-week-old puppies, which he kept in a metal crate in the back of his second-floor home, NJSPCA agent Murray Rothblatt said.
"The dogs were left out 24-7 in the sun ... it wasn't a safe situation, especially for puppies who are disoriented and can barely see," Rothblatt said.
If convicted, Doughty faces up to $1,000 in fines, up to six months in jail, 30 months of community service and other fees.
Doughty could not be reached for comment.
Doughty told the SPCA agent the mother dog somehow bent open the crate door while he was at work, and the 3-week-old puppies walked through the balcony's metal railing and fell about 15 feet to the cement sidewalk below, Rothblatt said.
A neighbor called the police at about 3:30 p.m., and animal control officer Cecilia Vuocolo took the two puppies who survived to the St. Hubert's Animal Welfare Center in Branchburg.
On Thursday the puppies were returned to Doughty, "because the young puppies need to be with their mother" for proper development, Rothblatt said.
Doughty placed the mother and the two puppies in the care of a Somerville relative.
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