The second photo of Shadow at right bears no resemblance to the dog who arrived in our shelter in April, 2004. At right, you see her past ... she, a six month old Chow mix puppy, and her companion, a small Pekingnese named Poppy had been set on fire. If that wasn't bad enough, they were left to languish untreated in the perpetrator's basement for two weeks. One can only imagine the suffering.
Thanks to an anonymous tip, the NJ State SPCA investigated a home in Seaside Heights, NJ where the two pups were being kept. The owner admitted to spraying the dogs with WD-40 and setting them on fire. While Ronald Fredericks, 36, was arrested for fourth degree animal cruelty, the two dogs were rushed to our Popcorn Park Animal Clinic in Forked River, NJ. There they were treated, given antibiotics and pain medication. Our veterinarian commented that they had been neglected before this abuse, and were also crawling with fleas.
Poppy the two year old Pekingnese was not as seriously damaged and suffered burns arbout the face and ears. Shadow, however, suffered severe burns on her ears, which later sloughed off; her nose was seared, her fur singed all over her body. The little Peke found a home fairly quickly, but Shadow's healing was much more intensive and time consuming.
Shadow's abuser, Ronald Fredericks, 37, was sentenced to 18 months in state prison on November 5th for setting two dogs on fire. When Society Executive Director addressed Superior Court Judge Vincent J. Grasso at the time of sentencing, she reminded him that although Fredericks blamed alcohol, the dogs stayed in the basement without any veterinary care for two weeks. “Surely, Mr. Frederick was sober and lucid enough to call for assistance for these two dogs”. Judge Grasso said the photographs he viewed after they were burned were “heartbreaking”.
What's heartbreaking is that the Society is still working with Shadow to help her get over her anxiety and fear of people. At Christmas time, Shadow visited the Waiting Room and picked her own toys from all of the wonderful treats and toys that were under the Christmas tree. We are hoping that a patient someone will take Shadow in and love her and help her recover completely. Said Forked River General Manager, John Bergmann, “Her rehabilitation will take longer than Ronald Fredericks’ jailtime”.
Recently we learned that the Parole Board has noted that Fredericks will be considered for parole by his first possible parole date of April 25th. Unfortunately, the deadline for Parole Board comments has already passed.
3/3/06 - Great News!! Nearly two years after Shadow arrived at our shelter in the most deplorable condition, she has found a loving home! The work we do on behalf of animals such as Shadow is costly and time-consuming as well as a labor of love. Without your assistance, we could not possibly help animals like Shadow. Please support our efforts so we may continue helping those who need us.