Neptune, NJ (written by Charles Webster/Asbury Park Press) -- A man who trained his dogs to work in films and on a popular TV series pleaded guilty Thursday to animal cruelty charges after a pair of his star Rottweilers died inside his hot vehicle while he dined at a local eatery, according to animal protection advocates.
Charles Loguidice, 48, pleaded guilty to two counts of animal cruelty in front of Municipal Court Judge Robin Wernek and was fined $2,000 after admitting he left a pair of his male Rottweilers inside his car in August while he ate at MJ's Pizza Bar & Grill on Route 66, explained Victor "Buddy" Amato, chief law enforcement officer for the Monmouth County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
"He decided to go into the restaurant and have a meal," Amato said at the time of the Aug. 26 incident. An hour later, "he came out to the car and both dogs were dead."
The two male dogs, Maximus and Joey, each weighing more than 100 pounds, died after temperatures inside the car reached more than 100 degrees, Amato said.
Loguidice told Amato during the course of an investigation, he left the car running and the air conditioner turned on for the dogs, but the dogs apparently jumped on the buttons, turning the vehicle's defroster on instead.
Part of the plea agreement between Loguidice and prosecutors allows Loguidice to retain ownership of his remaining dogs, the number of which is uncertain.
Loguidice's dogs have been featured in a video game and appeared on TV, film including AMC's "Rubicon," FX's "Lights Out," and Three Dogs Film's "God Don't Make the Laws."
Loguidice could not be reached for comment.