Cops: Man abused puppy, set up fundraiser to pay vet bills

A man fatally abused his puppy and then raised cash through an online fundraiser to pay for the dog's veterinary care, authorities said.

The investigation into Reid Herjo, 24, of Shamong, N.J., began in January when Medford police stopped him for speeding. He told police his German shepherd pup had been struck and injured by an ATV and he was taking it to the vet.

Authorities soon received information that Herjo had allegedly harmed the dog intentionally. Authorities eventually determined the dog had been severely abused and that Herjo had caused numerous fractures and hemorrhaging that required surgery.

The dog died Feb. 3 while in Herjo's care. Authorities said there were suspicious circumstances around the death and there was evidence that Atlas sustained additional trauma.

Police said that Herjo had created a Go Fund Me account seeking donations for Atlas' veterinary bills. The account raised $14,065 via 693 separate donations over a 28-day period.

Herjo was charged with animal cruelty and theft by deception. It wasn't known Tuesday if he has retained an attorney.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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