FREEHOLD – An Asbury Park man is facing numerous charges of animal cruelty after thirteen dogs were seized from his care due to neglect, announced Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.
Derek Bussey, 25, is charged with one count of third degree Animal Cruelty and twelve counts of fourth degree Animal Cruelty with respect to the death of one puppy and the neglect of three adult dogs and nine other puppies found on a property in Asbury Park on July 26, 2020.
On that date, the Monmouth County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) was alerted by the Asbury Park Police to multiple reports of an adult male dog running at large. The adult male dog was located at a property in the City. A subsequent investigation revealed an adult female dog tied up in the backyard without food or water, and an another adult female dog with her ten puppies being kept in a non-vented enclosed garage, in extreme heat, on a concrete floor with no bedding, and with no access to food and water.
The dogs were in poor health, with one puppy in distress, having difficulty breathing and not moving. The dogs were taken to a local veterinary hospital where they were diagnosed and treated for flea infestation, flea allergic dermatitis and round worm exposure, to go along with dehydration. The puppy that was discovered not moving and having difficulty breathing did not survive. It was later determined that Bussey was the owner of all thirteen dogs and not currently living at the residence where the dogs were being kept.
If convicted of the third degree charge, Bussey faces a sentence of three to five years in in a New Jersey state prison.
This case is assigned to Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Melanie Falco, Director of the Office’s Professional Responsibility and Bias Crimes Unit, and liaison to the Monmouth County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Law Enforcement Division.
Bussey is scheduled for a Detention Hearing on September 30, 2020 in front of Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Paul X. Escandon.
Despite these charges, every defendant is presumed innocent, unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, following a trial at which the defendant has all of the trial rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and State law.