Couple charged with animal cruelty

Jose Martinez and Porchia Williams

NEWARK, NJ — Acting Essex County Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens II and Newark Public Safety Director Anthony Ambrose announced Dec. 7 that two people were arrested for animal cruelty for allegedly starving and neglecting a 6-month-old, male pitbull puppy in their Newark apartment.

Jose E. Martinez, 29, and his girlfriend Porchia Williams, 27, both of Newark, are accused of failing to feed the puppy on a regular basis and forcing him to remain in his wire cage with urine and fecal matter, which was also on the puppy’s feet and body, resulting in urine burns to the tail, hindquarters and paws.

The emaciated puppy weighed 8.5 pounds and was discovered suffering from starvation and pressure sores on his body, according to Assistant Prosecutor Michele Miller, who is handling the case. A 6-month-old pitbull puppy typically weighs approximately 30 pounds.

The dog was taken to an animal emergency facility in Fairfield.

Martinez and Williams have been released but are scheduled to appear before Superior Court Judge Siobhan Teare on Jan. 4.

These are accusations. All defendants are presumed innocent unless and until they enter a guilty plea or are found guilty beyond a reason doubt in a court of law.