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Punish Woman Accused Of Drowning Caged Puppy

Published: May 16, 2019 at 11:25 AM Author: PENNY EIMS

West Milford, New Jersey – Join us in asking officials in West Milford, New Jersey, to punish Tonya Fea for the death of an innocent 10-week-old golden retriever puppy who drowned in a cage!

Tonya Fea is accused of putting a young golden retriever puppy, posthumously dubbed “Jenny,” into a cage and submerging her in water. There is evidence showing that little Jenny was still alive when the cage was plunged into the water.

The reports are that Tonya used a crystal vase like this to weigh down the cage.

Fea must be held accountable for this heinous act of cruelty! Please sign this petition asking officials to sentence Fea to the full extent of the law for this crime.

Final Update: Fea was sentenced on October 5, 2021, to the terms (see below) of her plea agreement. We thank everyone who took the time to sign this petition, and while we wish that the sentence was stronger, we believe that the petition helped Fea receive a more significant sentence than if there was no support from the public.

Update 8/15/2021: The Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office has issued a press release about this animal cruelty case. The release states:

Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes announces the entry of a guilty plea in the
matter of State of New Jersey v. Tonya Fea.
Tonya Fea pled guilty today to Animal Cruelty, a third-degree crime, before the Honorable
Marilyn C. Clark, J.S.C.
Tonya Fea admitted under oath that on April 30, 2019 she submerged her golden retriever
puppy in a pond located in West Milford, New Jersey.  She further admitted the puppy died because of her actions.

Pursuant to the terms of the plea agreement, the State has recommended that Ms. Fea be
placed on probation for a period of 5 years with the condition that she serve 180 days in the Passaic County Jail. Under the terms of the plea, Ms. Fea will also be required to continue counseling, perform 100 days of community service, and refrain from owning dogs in the future.

As reported by, Fea admitted in court that she drowned the puppy because she did not want to pay for “expensive” veterinary care.

Sentencing is scheduled for October 5, 2021.

Update 5/25/2021: Animal Victory has learned that Tonya Fea has been offered a plea deal that would allow her to maintain custody of a pet who is currently in her care. Under the plea agreement, Fea would be put behind bars for a year, and forbidden from owning pets in the future. The plea deal also mandates mental health counseling and one year of community service. Fea is scheduled for court in July – if things are not resolved by that time, she will likely have a trial in the fall. Animal Victory is committed to pushing court officials to withdraw the offer allowing Fea to maintain custody of her dog as part of this plea deal! Please continue to sign.

UPDATE: 03/16/20 Tonya’s court date was scheduled for tomorrow. That is no longer going to happen due to COVID-19.


Update 03/03/2020:  Tonya Fea was indicted on a single charge of animal cruelty. According to Lori Comstock from the NJH Jefferson Herald’s report today:

Tonya Fea was indicted on Feb. 20 with third-degree cruelty to animals. 

Tonya was arrested on May 7, 2019, and charged in connection with the death of the female puppy, found on April 30, in a crate that authorities say had been submerged and weighed down with a glass ice bucket in a pond off Bonter Road in West Milford.

After her arrest, Tonya told authorities that she put the dog in the pond but said it was already dead, according to an affidavit from her arrest. But an autopsy showed the dog died of asphyxiation from water.

A volunteer with the rescue group The Last Resort Animal Rescue, found the puppy. The puppy was later memorialized with a name: Jenny.

Tonya appears in Passaic County Court on March 17 for her arraignment in front of Judge Justine Niccolla. She could go to jail for up to five years if convicted.

Please continue to Sign and Share Petition for the maximum punishment!

The Last Resort Animal Rescue will be at the courthouse on March 17th at 9:00 a.m.  You can read more about this group on their Facebook page and/or website using the links below.

Update: 10/17/2019

A Grand Jury will hear the case against Tonya Fea – however, the court date is not publicly being released. We want as many signatures as possible to present to Chief Assistant Prosecutor Andrew Palestini! Fea must be sent to jail (for a significant amount of time) and all animals who are in her care must be removed.

This innocent puppy was caged and plunged into the water – a necropsy revealed that she was still alive when Fea sank her cage into the pond. This callous act of cruelty must be punished, and all animals must be removed from Fea’s custody! Please Continue to Sign and Share!

* Individuals are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Prior Signatures 12,522