Blaze has been living at the SPCA shelter in Eatontown for about a month

Danny Burt of Cedarville was driving a pickup truck west on Lummistown Road in Lawrence Township when the vehicle ran off the road, according to a New Jersey State Police spokeswoman. The pickup struck a tree and Burt suffered fatal injuries, the spokeswoman said. The crash was reported around 12:10 a.m.

An investigation into the cause of the crash is ongoing and additional details were not available as of Thursday morning.

A dog shot and injured by Keyport police earlier this year remains held by the Monmouth County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals while summonses are pending against the pit bull’s owners, one of whom has organized a rally to regain custody.

Blaze has been living at the SPCA shelter in Eatontown for about a month and is nearly recovered from the gunshot wounds he suffered to his shoulder in a parking lot in Keyport Oct. 22, SPCA Chief Ross Licitra said Thursday.

The Monmouth County SPCA has had a long-standing policy that the owners can’t visit if they’re facing charge related to the dog.

“Regardless of who the owner may be, no owner is allowed to visit with their dog if (the dog) is being held by the county SPCA,” a spokesman for the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office said. “That’s a standard practice to protect the employees of the SPCA and the well-being/welfare of the dog.”


Licitra said the policy is now strictly enforced because of past incidents in which a dog attacked another animal or an employee. In one instance, a dog went “ballistic” when its owner arrived to visit and “mauled” a shelter worker, who suffered severe bites.

“It’s really stressful for the animal when it sees its owner and the owner then has to leave it,” Licitra said. “That’s why for dogs’ emotional stability, we don’t allow it. It’s heartbreaking.

“We want to get this dog home as quickly as possible. It’s bad for the dog, it’s bad for the owner, it’s bad for all of us. If the judge determines the dog should be released, the owner can take him home immediately.”

The shelter will consider requests to drop off special food or other treats for dogs being held, Licitra added.

One of Blaze’s owners — Alexyss Ferrera — is planning a rally outside borough hall in Keyport at 2 p.m. Thursday demanding the pit bull be allowed to come home.

A half-hour later she’s scheduled to be in her attorney Matthew Jordan’s Neptune office to participate in a virtual court hearing to answer a charge of possessing a dangerous dog as well as violations of borough ordinances. The charges were filed by the Monmouth County SPCA, which handles animal control in Keyport.

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