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Woman Charged With Leaving Dog to Die Posts Bail

Megan Otte's case remains in the complaint stage at the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office

The Forked River woman charged with animal cruelty after she allegedly left a dog to die in a home has posted bail.

after police investigating a suspicious odor at a Pensacola Road address discovered the dog, Ruger, dead inside a dog crate in the home.

Otte, who was charged with animal cruelty and abandonment, was arrested on Tuesday, June 26 and posted bail — $7,500 with no 10 percent option — through a bondsman on Monday, July 23.

An investigation by Officer Paul Sullivan and Officer Paul Schlossbach of New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals found that Otte moved from the Pensacola Road home and left Ruger, a mixed breed, alive in the cage. Sometime after she moved, Ruger died, police said.

Lacey Township Animal Control Officer Michael San Juan also assisted at the scene.

and a date for arraignment has yet to be scheduled, said Eric Muniz, Criminal Division Manager for Ocean County Trial Court. The prosecutor's office is investigating the case to determine whether to prosecute in Superior Court or send the case back to Lacey's municipal Court.

That process could take a couple of months, the employee said.

In the meantime, animal activists have taking it upon themselves to encourage Ocean County Executive Assistant Prosecutor Robert Scott, who is assigned to the case, to give Otte the maximum sentence. A Facebook Page and a petition were started. The Facebook page currently has 469 likes while the petition has 3,068 signatures.

Scott was unavailable for comment but Executive Assistant Prosecutor Michel Paulhus said the office does not comment on the status of pending investigations.

Fern Sullivan August 02, 2012 at 09:19 PM
@Vickey So let me see if I get your analogy correctly. This young woman left a dog in a cage - nobody knows why - and the dog unfortunately passes away. And, although we have no proof at all that she's ever done anything like this before, or of any previous criminal record, you're equating her to a convicted and sentenced serial killer who ate his victims' remains? Is that about right? Just want to be sure.
Terri A August 03, 2012 at 06:55 PM
Abandoning an animal in a house, never mind a cage, is disgustingly cruel. She needs some kind of punishment and should never be allowed to have any animal in her possession again. Obviously her mind is not right and child welfare department should be made aware of her and keep an eye on how she treats her kids.
Terri A August 03, 2012 at 06:57 PM
how do you know she suffered at all? She could have let the animal out of the house to fend for itself. At least it might have found a new home or animal patrol would have taken him in for adoption. What she did is sick and cruel. Obviously it didn't bother her at all or she would have notified someone to go back and let it out.
FrenchConnection August 03, 2012 at 08:18 PM
@Terri Sure, she definitely deserves punishment and probably loses her right to own any type of animal again. But you don't know that her mind isn't right. Nobody knows the circumstances of why she left the dog, it's all speculation and conjure. There's no way you can assume that her child is in any type of danger. To even suggest so publicly borders on harassment and character assault. Tread carefully.
Terri A August 04, 2012 at 09:48 AM
Better safe than sorry, French Connection. A person who commits an act of cruelty to an animal does not deserve much of anything in my book. There is no reason to leave an animal in a cage and move out leaving it to die. If she can talk and can dial a phone, then call someone to get the dog. I would still be concerned over her child.

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