Who, age What Where When Last Known Address
Clifford Robbins, 75 killed dog with car exhaust fumes

Toms River, NJ

Ocean County

April 14, 2014  
Type of Crime Other Crimes #/Type of animal(s) involved Case Status Next Court Date /Courthouse
3rd degree felony   1 dog Alleged  

A 75-year-old township man was arrested at his home more than four months after he allegedly killed his dog with exhaust fumes from his car.

On April 14, police were called to the Toms River home of 75-year-old Clifford Robbins in reference to the death of Robbins' dog, Mocha.

When officers arrived, they found Mocha's body within a sealed animal travel carrier that had been connected, with a hose, to the exhaust of Robbins' vehicle.

Toms River Township Officers contacted the Toms River Animal Control department, who responded and took control of the investigation into Mocha's death.
Toms River Assistant Attorney Anthony Merlino stated that the dog's owner allegedly hooked the line from the car's exhaust to a "makeshift" container to euthanize the dog.

"The township has decided not to take any action within its jurisdiction," Merlino said at that time. "There were extenuating circumstances in the investigation that led the authorities to conclude that it was not warranted in this instance."

On May 7, 2014, officials from the NJSPCA brought the case to the attention of the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office seeking legal advice on how to proceed and whether charges were appropriate. The prosecutor's office immediately directed that a necropsy be performed and opened its' own investigation regarding the events surrounding Mocha's death.

Last month, the prosecutor's office announce that it had launched another investigation related to case, this time into the initial response by a Toms River animal control officer. Prosecutor's office spokesman Al Della Fave said at the time that the investigation was to "assure he [the animal control officer] did everything appropriate with regard to his response when called to that location."

Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph Coronato announced that an Ocean County Grand Jury indicted Clifford on a third-degree cruelty to animals charge and that he was served an arrest warrant at his home by members of the prosecutor's office and the NJSPCA. Robbins was processed and released pending a future court date.

By law, Robbins will have a pre arraignment conference in the next 21 days and will have his formal arraignment no later than 50 days, authorities said.
The indictment was presented by Assistant Ocean County Prosecutor Heidi Tannenbaum-Newman. The prosecutor's office said that the matter and the surrounding circumstances were still an active and open investigation.

Reference: NJ.com