BRICK - The former owners of Sammy the severely neglected cocker spaniel appeared before a judge in Brick for a pre-trial hearing Monday.

Keith and Shauna Morgan claimed they found Sammy covered in matted fur and filth inside a trash bag back in March.

Police arrested the couple and charged them with animal cruelty after investigators discovered the Morgans actually owned the dog.

Another hearing is set for August. A trial will likely take place in September.