A New Jersey woman allegedly suffocated four puppies by locking them in a cooler after she had a fight with her boyfriend, who breeds American bulldogs, police said Tuesday.
Kimberly Matthews, of Linden, N.J., now faces four counts of animal cruelty. Authorities found the 5-week-old bulldogs in a cooler Sunday.
Linden Police Department Capt. James Sarnicki told The Star-Ledger that the 26-year-old asked her neighbor to watch the puppies and gave the portable cooler full of dogs to the acquaintance. It wasn't until later, when the neighbor touched the puppies, that he realized they were dead.
As The Associated Press notes, Matthews denied any wrongdoing and told investigators the puppies were alive when she handed them over.
Matthews was initially arrested on outstanding contempt warrants in two other New Jersey counties. She was later charged with the multiple counts of animal cruelty.
Under New Jersey law, animal cruelty charges carry a $500 to $2,000 fine and maximum jail sentence of six months.