Animal lovers in Dover, Delaware should be wary. A former New Jersey resident convicted of killing 19 cats may be up to his old tricks.
Anthony Appolonia, formerly of Aberdeen, NJ, was sentenced to five years in prison in 2008 for torturing and killing 19 cats. He would respond to ads on Craigslist or in the newspaper from individuals looking to give away animals “to a good home.” Monmouth County prosecutors said Appolonia would then stomp on the cats or toss them against walls before drowning them.
Appolonia confessed in 2007 to torturing the cats. He told prosecutors he did it because he was unemployed and had no social life. His five-year prison sentence was the harshest animal cruelty punishment in New Jersey history. Appolonia was released in November 2012 and has been forbidden from owning any pets. He cannot even be in the presence of animals without supervision.
However, four Dover residents believe he might be back to killing cats again. Appolonia is again answering Craiglist ads and is said to have taken in five cats in the past 10 months. After information about him went up on Craigslist in January 2016, four Dover residents reported him to authorities. Some tried to get the cats back, but were unable to.
In an interview with NJ.com, Appolonia told reporters he’s being framed. “I’m not doing it anymore,” Appolonia said. “I’m trying to get my life together. I just want to be left alone.”
According to the reporter, the apartment was clean and showed no evidence of animals having lived there. Investigators noted the same thing when Appolonia was arrested in 2007. He confessed then despite minimal evidence against him.
Though there are numerous complaints against Appolonia, Dover residents insist police are not prioritizing the investigation. Mark Tobin, chief of the Delaware Office of Animal Welfare enforcement bureau, said Appolonia has been under investigation, but that the chief investigator assigned to the case has been out on injury.
Appolonia’s five-year sentence is the harshest animal cruelty punish in the history of New Jersey. Cruelty to animal charges normally carry a fine of $250 to $1,000 and up to six months in prison. The more serious charge of aggravated cruelty carries up to $3,000 in fines and 18 months in prison.
If you or someone you love has been charged with animal cruelty or any other criminal offense in New Jersey, it is essential that you retain an attorney. Adam H. Rosenblum of the Rosenblum Law Firm is a skilled criminal defense attorney with experience helping people in similar situations. Email the Rosenblum Law Firm or call 888-979-7551 today for a free consultation about your case.