Gary Moore

MAYS LANDING – An Atlantic City man pleaded guilty July 15 to 3rd Degree animal cruelty charges in the death of a 7-pound Yorkshire terrier puppy named Mommas.

The terms of Gary Moore’s plea agreement require a New Jersey State Prison sentence of three years. Moore is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 26 before the Superior Court Judge Dorothy Garrabrant.

According to a release from Atlantic County Prosecutor William E. Reynolds, on Jan. 7, 2020, Atlantic City Police responded to a 911 call from a very emotionally upset woman who came home to find the body of her deceased puppy. One of the officers who responded to the call, Det. Malik Tolbert, entered the victim’s apartment to find her hysterical. She told police she came home from work and could not find her Yorkshire terrier puppy, Mommas. She continued to look for the dog and eventually found Mommas stuffed between the mattress and box spring of her bed. Mommas was deceased, her body badly beaten, the release stated.

It was determined by forensic experts that Mommas had suffered fatal blunt force trauma.

Following Det.Tolbert’s investigation, Moore, 39, was charged with animal cruelty by purposely and cruelly causing the death of Mommas.

The public is urged to contact their local police departments if they witness acts of animal cruelty or neglect.

Assistant prosecutors assigned to the Animal Cruelty Unit understand that for most, animals are more than just pets, they are beloved members of the family. They are an immeasurable source of joy and entitled to protection under the law, the release stated.

The prosecutor said the Animal Cruelty Unit takes great pride in the trust placed in them to fully investigate and prosecute individuals who commit offenses involving cruelty and/or neglect of animals.

Anyone with information involving serious crimes is asked to call the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office at 609-909-7800 or go to the Prosecutor’s Office Web site at and provide information by filling out the form anonymously on the Submit a Tip page.

Crime Stoppers: People can also call Crime Stoppers at 609-652-1234 or 1-800-658-8477 (TIPS) or visit the Crime Stoppers Website at Crime Stoppers offers cash rewards for information leading to the arrest and indictment of those who commit crimes in Atlantic County.

Nanette LoBiondo Galloway

Award winning journalist covering news, events and people of Atlantic County for more than 20 years.