The pair, who received the maximum jail sentence for the animal abuse charges, must also pay a total of $13,000 in restitution to the Red Bank Veterinary Hospital. Both were barred from ever owning a dog again.
Keith and Shauna Morgan, of Sawmill Road, appeared in Brick Municipal Court before Judge Robert LePore and expressed remorse, saying they wished they could change what happened.
The pair had claimed to find the dog on the side of a road in Wall Township, but now admit that the story was a lie.
In court, a visibly upset Shauna Morgan said: "I should have foreseen this. If I would have foreseen this, it never would have happened. He would have gotten help. This isn't what we wanted. We wanted to get him help."
"It was a bad time in my life," said Keith Morgan. "I shouldn't have lied...wanted to apologize to my wife, Shauna. She wasn't there at the time."
LePore noted that the description of Sammy, in medical records, says he was "emaciated and dehydrated...he literally was too weak to stand."
"This illustrates behavior by the defendants that was heinous and cruel," the judge said. "How easily this could have been prevented. The gravity of this was such that he couldn't stand...it took 25 days of treatment to get him well."
Steven Zabarsky, the municipal prosecutor, painted a picture of the defendants as a pair who hatched a plan together, and willingly drove out of their way to the Red Bank SPCA to "concoct their story."