A 30-year-old Middletown man was ordered to a year’s worth of psychiatric counseling after he pleaded guilty yesterday to beating three goslings to death with an umbrella, today’s Press reports.


Middletown Municipal Court Judge Michael D. Pugliese sentenced Michael Gonzalez to six months in jail for the crime, but suspended the jail term as long as the defendant gets treatment. Any deviation from the order or the terms of his probation will result in Gonzalez being incarcerated, the Press says.

From the report:

Gonzalez was charged May 16 with beating the three goslings to death after he lured them away from their parents and into a wooded area, said Victor “Buddy” Amato, chief of police for the Monmouth County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

The slain goslings were young enough that they still had their yellow downy feathers, Amato said.

Necropsies performed on the animals at the Red Bank Animal Hospital determined they had died of blunt force injuries that had broken their bones and damaged their internal organs.

“He stalked these little animals,” Amato said. “It was a heartbreaking case. When I went to photograph the crime scene the parents were laying next to their dead babies. It was like they couldn’t understand what had happened.”

Gonzalez also was fined $4,100, placed on a year’s probation and banned from owning any animals for five years, the Press reports.

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