Tonya Fea, 47, of Jefferson Township, was arrested on Tuesday and she faces up to 10 years in state prison if found guilty of both animal cruelty charges, plus a maximum of 30 days in county jail if convicted of defiant trespassing.
The pup — nicknamed “Jenny” — was found last Tuesday submerged in a cage in Greenwood Pond on Bonter Road.
She was taken to the New Jersey Department of Agriculture’s Animal Health Diagnostic Laboratory, where a necropsy was conducted.
Found in the cage with Jenny was a wee-wee pad and a lead-crystal ice bucket that authorities believe was used to weigh down the cage.
A reward was offered by The Last Resort Animal Rescue that quickly ballooned to $12,000, thanks to contributions.
“The official autopsy report confirm[s] that drowning was the cause of death,” the rescue wrote on Facebook. “Jenny was ALIVE and was intentionally drowned by this monster.”
Fea was released pending a May 22 first appearance in Central Judicial Processing Court in Paterson, Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes and West Milford Police Chief Timothy Storbeck said in a joint announcement, according to report from Daily Voice.