BEYOND BERGEN: A woman who had a fight with her dog-breeder boyfriend apparently suffocated four of his puppies and left them in a portable cooler, police in Union County said today.
Kimberly Matthews, 26, gave a neighbor the 5-week-old American bulldogs in an Igloo cooler Sunday night to take care of them, Linden Police Capt. James Sarnicki said.
The neighbor told police that Matthews said the motionless pups “were probably just sleeping,” Sarnicki told InsideOut , a CLIFFVIEW PILOT news partner, this morning.
When he later went to touch them, the man said, they were cold, so he called police, Sarnicki said.
They likely were suffocated, the captain said.
UPDATE: Police said publicity forced a Union County woman charged with killing four of her boyfriend’s 5-week-old puppies after an argument to surrender last night. READ MORE….
Responding officers spoke to Matthews, who denied responsibility, he said.
However, the neighbor told police that Matthews had an argument over the phone Sunday night with her boyfriend, who breeds the dogs, during which she threatened to kill them.
“At some later point, she removed the puppies from their cage and placed them into the cooler,” Sarnicki said.
MORE INFO: Bergen County SPCA (or click image above)
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Matthews was arrested on two outstanding warrants, one out of Clark and the other out of Middlesex County, the captain said. Police drew up four complaints of animal cruelty that he said they planned to charge Matthews with today. They were having trouble finding her, however, Sarnicki said.
If convicted of the animal cruelty charges, Matthews could face up to 2 years in prison — six months for each offense — and be required to pay fines of from $500 to $2,000 for each, he said ($2,000-$8,000 total).
( NOTE: Due to a reporting error, an earlier version of this story wrongly said the puppies had been frozen.)
IMAGES: Courtesy InsideOut
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