TOMS RIVER - A man who says he euthanized his very ill dog by confining her to a crate and hooking it up to the exhaust of his car was arrested Thursday.
Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph Coronato today says Clifford Robbins, 75, has been indicted on a charge of third-degree animal cruelty.
Officers responding to Robbins' home on April 14 found Mocha, a Labrador mix, sealed inside an animal carrier that had been connected with a hose to the exhaust of Robbins' car.
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Toms River Animal Control took over the investigation into Mocha's death.
On May 7, officials from the New Jersey SPCA sought input from the prosecutor's office, which ordered a necropsy and opened its own investigation into Mocha's death.
A Facebook page called "Justice for Mocha" was the center of a grassroots movement to make sure Robbins faced some penalty his actions. Creator Craig Saltarelli says at first, their cause wasn't getting the attention they wanted. "We needed to so we needed to create a way of bringing everybody together," he says.
The Ocean County Prosecutor's Office did acknowledge concern by activists was warranted, and played a role in the investigation. "We actually appreciate their patience in terms of letting the investigation move forward," says Al Della Fave.
If convicted, Robbins could face three to five years behind bars.
An arraignment date has not been released.