BRICK, N.J., Aug. 20 (UPI) -- A New Jersey couple have pleaded guilty to animal cruelty for mistreating a 15-year-old cocker spaniel found to be severely dehydrated.
Keith and Shauna Morgan of Brick, N.J., face up to six months in jail, the Asbury Park (N.J.) Press reported. Their hearing in municipal court in Brick was packed with about 70 animal lovers, many of them wearing T-shirts with pictures of Sammy.
The Morgans originally claimed to have rescued Sammy. Keith Morgan told police in March he found Sammy in a plastic bag on the roadside and took him to the Humane Society.
That story was determined to be false.
Keith Morgan pleaded guilty to one count of animal cruelty and to filing a false police report, while his wife pleaded to two counts of animal cruelty.
Observers appeared to be split on whether the couple's punishment fit the crime.
"I would have loved to have seen them go to trial," Martin Mondoker of Colts Neck, N.J., told the Press. "I don't believe in them dropping charges."
Nanci Silcox of Roebling, N.J., said she hopes the Morgans get the maximum sentence but that she is glad they admitted what they had done.