SPRING LAKE — A Fort Bragg soldier charged with animal cruelty and neglect after authorities say a dog was found dead and locked in a cage in his former apartment made his first court appearance Tuesday at the Cumberland County Detention Center.
Wearing an orange jumpsuit, Demareo Jones, 21, stood before District Court Judge April Smith, who increased Jones’ bail from $10,000 to $50,000.
If Jones is able to post bail, Smith ordered him not to have any contact with animals, including fish.
Jones was arrested Monday.
On Dec. 27, officials at the apartment community where Jones formerly lived conducted a final walk-through of his apartment.
They found a dead black lab-mix puppy weighing 7 pounds locked inside a cage, according to the Spring Lake Police Department.
The dog had been left with no food or water. A necropsy revealed that the dog had been dead for 18 to 48 hours and was between 12 to 16 weeks old, Spring Lake Police Chief Troy McDuffie said.
Jones lived in the 500 block of Warfield Street with Sha’Ron Jones. They moved out of the apartment knowing the puppy was still inside, according to a news release said.
“We could have found this puppy a home. This puppy never had a chance; it’s a very sad situation,” Elaine Smith, Director of Cumberland Animal Control said.
Sha’Ron Jones is charged but has not been arrested, the release said.
Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact the Spring Lake Police Department at 910-436-7167 or Crimestoppers at 910-483-TIPPS (8477).
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