mcpo shield 120FREEHOLD – A Monmouth County grand jury returned a 14-count indictment charging Andre P. Parker, 31, of Sunset Avenue in Asbury Park, and Tara R. Robinson, 43, of Lawrence Avenue in the Ocean Grove section of Neptune Township, with multiple counts of animal cruelty and related charges, announced Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.

The indictment follows a joint investigation by the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office, Monmouth County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MCSPCA), Asbury Park and Neptune Township police departments. The investigation revealed that in January and February of this year, Parker caused a one- to two-year-old pit bull mix, known as Destiny, to become severely abused.

An anonymous tip led MCSPCA investigators to question Parker about allegations of abuse. Parker secretly removed the abused dog from his Asbury Park residence and left her with Robinson in Ocean Grove. Parker then lied to investigators, telling them he did not have any knowledge of an injured dog. The dog was found two days later at Robinson's home after another tip led Neptune Township police to investigate. At that time, Robinson told police there was no injured dog at her residence, but police discovered the dog hidden behind her couch and contacted the MCSPCA.

Destiny was found severely dehydrated and malnourished and had several untreated and infected wounds. She could not raise her head or stand under her own power. She was taken to Red Bank Veterinary Hospital, where it was determined her condition was so grave that a "Do Not Resuscitate" order was issued, but after a lengthy hospital stay her condition improved and she eventually made a full recovery. MCSPCA officials report Destiny was recently adopted and placed into her “forever home” with an SPCA-approved family.

Parker is charged with three counts of third degree Animal Cruelty, two counts of fourth degree Hindering Apprehension, one count of fourth degree Tampering with Evidence, and one count of fourth degree Obstruction.

Robinson is charged with two counts of third degree Animal Cruelty, four counts of fourth degree Hindering Apprehension and one count of fourth degree Obstruction.

If convicted of Animal Cruelty, Parker and Robinson each faces a sentence of three to five years in a New Jersey state prison.

If convicted of any of the fourth degree offense, they each face up to 18 months in state prison on each count.

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.

The case is assigned to Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Jordan L. Williams.