UPDATE: Man Who Left Pit Puppy To Drown Sentenced To 1 Year In Prison

Updated Story 2/17/2020:

Not long ago we shared the disturbing story of an 8-month-old Pit Bull left to drown in a cage at rising tide in New Jersey. The puppy stood trapped partially under water for three hours until thankfully rescue came. The man who condemned the pup to this cruel fate has officially been sentenced after a jury convicted him in December of last year. He will serve 1 year in prison for his crimes.

Defendant Aaron Davis’ attorney Adamo Ferreira argued for his client to be sentenced to just the 44 days he already served since his arrest. He pointed to Davis’ role as a father and as a son to loving family members.

The sentencing judge, Judge Marc LeMieux referenced the fact that many people view their dogs as their children. Davis, by putting the puppy in the cage to drown, took a child away from a family as well. The judge also noted that rehoming the pup or returning him to police would have been a preferable option to torture.

“This dog was watching his own demise with every wave and every minute that passed… You took an animal that was completely helpless, locked him in a cage and put him in a location where he could drown.”

Davis declined to provide additional comment at his sentencing.

Don’t you worry: River (the growing pup) is doing great now! He has a family to love and freedom to roam outside any wires.



Original Story Below:

Sometimes there is unfathomable cruelty in the world, and our poor canine friends find themselves helplessly on the other end of it. Last summer, a Pit Bull puppy in New Jersey was left in a cage by the water’s edge during a rising tide. Thanks to a Good Samaritan, he barely made it out. At last, the man responsible for that cruelty will be forced to pay for his actions.

This past Thursday, a Monmouth County jury convicted 35-year-old Aaron Davis of the crime. He faces up to 18 months in prison and will be sentenced on Feb. 14th.

According to Prosecutors, Davis did this to get revenge against his girlfriend’s ex-boyfriend who gave her the dog. Hm… I can think of a few better ways that don’t involve animal cruelty.


It’s been a little over a year since Davis left the then 10-month-old Puppy to drown. His cage was on a small sand bar between the rock bulkhead and the water. The rising tide had already begun to flood it. Jennifer Vaz and her dog out on a walk miraculously stumbled upon him just in the nick of time.

Vaz’s dog alerted her to something near the water’s edge. She followed her pup’s suggestion.

“When we got closer I heard the whimpering. When I looked down, I saw these eyes looking back at me — these cute little puppy eyes all shivered up and scared.”

Vaz climbed over the wall to get to the helpless puppy out of the cage. She put her other dog’s tags around his neck and brought the puppy in to the SPCA for treatment. She named the dog “River.”


Monmouth County Prosecutor Chris Gramiccioni confirmed to ABC7 that if Vaz hadn’t gotten to River right when she did, the dog would have drowned.

“High tide would have been at 10:30, and this crate to house this small dog was probably two and a half feet off the ground. The water was rising through the crate and just in a matter of less than an hour, River wouldn’t have made it if it weren’t for Jennifer coming to take him out of the crate, saving his life.”


River didn’t deserve what he got, but he definitely deserves what he has now: happiness. You can at least rest easy knowing he is doing great with his new dog sibling and parents.

After rescuing him, Vaz fostered River for a while before eventually adopting him. He and his brother Boxer mix are spoiled with love and plenty of toys.


If you witness any acts of animal cruelty, report the information and any supporting evidence to your local police and humane society or animal control!


Featured Image: @MCProsecutors.Office/Facebook

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