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Facebook Group Aims to Ensure 'Justice for Ruger'

Outraged residents want to bring attention to Forked River dog's death

When the news first broke that police had found a dog dead in a Forked River home, Elaine Buzzeo was upset.

That upset quickly turned to anger, however, as the details became public: Ruger, a mixed breed dog, had been found dead in a crate and had apparently been dead for nearly a month. A 21-year-old Lacey woman, Megan Otte, had been arrested and left it to die when she moved out of the home on Pensacola Road.

Otte remains in the Ocean County Jail, Toms River, on charges of abandonment and animal cruelty, unable to post the $7,500 bail. by the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office, which will have the choice to prosecute Otte or send the case back to the Lacey municipal court. It is unknown how long that process might take.

Concerned, however, that the situation will not receive the attention from the courts that she feels it should, Buzzeo has been trying to reach out to everyone connected with the case. 

And now she has started a Facebook page to enlist others in the effort.

"This really hits home," Buzzeo said by email last week. "Unfortunately, this is nothing new, but when it happens in your own town it really strikes a hard blow, knowing especially that there are so many here in Lacey that would have stepped up (to give the dog a home)." 

Buzzeo, who said she has worked in animal rescue for 16 years, said the availability of Popcorn Park Zoo, which also is an Associated Humane Societies animal shelter in Lacey, made it even more sad.

She said she has been emailing the prosecutor's office and will be starting an online petition to push for the maximum penalty, if Otte is convicted of the charges.

"I'd like to see us get even half of what Patrick's story got," she said, referring to a pitbull in Newark that was found starving and chained to a fence. The Facebook page started for Patrick, Prayers for Patrick, has more than 8,000 likes.

"I believe Ruger's story is not different than the Kisha Curtis case," she said, referring to the woman accused of leaving Patrick chained to the fence. "The only difference is that Patrick is alive and in a good home now."

Elaine Buzzeo July 23, 2012 at 09:52 PM
I don't feel guitly. IF SHE IS FOUND GUILTY, she should get the maximum the law allows. The evidence and the prosecution will decide if a case can be made against her, not the Patch and not my Facebook page. My FB page is calling for the maximum allowed by law if found guilty. There is no reason possible that could be presented for leaving a dog, locked in his cage in an empty house for over a month without food and water. I sleep well at night and will continue to sleep well. I wasn't going to answer but I did and this is my last answer. I'll spend my time constructively, helping animals as I have been or the past almost 17 years. It's very rewarding. You should try it sometime.
Elaine Buzzeo July 23, 2012 at 10:04 PM
Before I leave, let me also link the petition asking for the max if found guilty. Another animal advocate friend of mine created this. I'm linking it for anyone that would like to sign. http://www.thepetitionsite.com/433/052/094/justice-for-ruger-dog-locked-in-crate-to-starve-to-death/ I don't suppose you'll sign it Silent Majority? No one is finding her guilty. We are simply asking for the max if found guilty. Please, don't forget to come out and support Camp Bow Wow's fund raiser for rescue. Sunday, July 29 from 11:30 - 2pm. Maybe you'll find your next best friend to adopt or maybe you can sign up to foster. Rescues are in dire need of fosters in order to be able to keep helping animals. Many times a rescue will have to turn away an animal due to no place for the animal to go. I hope the town will come out and support this great cause.
SilentMajority July 24, 2012 at 02:11 AM
Since we're all speculating anyway, what if she had to leave in a hurry for some horrible reason? What if she had to run, not walk away from someone or something? What if her child or children were in danger? We just don't know the situation. She has no way of ever living a normal life in her hometown now, regardless of whether or not her reasons for leaving the dog were, let's say, understandable. Perhaps she just hoped that someone would hear him and get him, or that she was sure that would happen. I understand that she still has the right to a fair trial, but in the court of public opinion, it's already all over, don't you think? Like I mentioned, no one is going to wait for the verdict. I think the work you do is admirable, and I have signed your petition.
SilentMajority July 24, 2012 at 02:16 AM
And by the way, I'm actually a social worker, working with homeless families, single mothers and foster children. So I see the human side of the awful effects of public opinion and those who aren't given a second chance regardless of background or past history. People running from their past make up the majority of my day and one way or another, right or wrong, it always catches up to them and colors peoples' perception, in my opinion - unfairly.
Silver dollar April 16, 2013 at 09:38 PM
For you who did not read patch today April 16 2013 . This young woman of 22 was found dead in her home today . May she rest in peace.

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