A New Jersey man who tugged on donors’ heartstrings to raise thousands of dollars for his injured dog was actually the cause of the canine’s pain! Red Herjo, 24, beat the German Shepherd regularly until it died, officials said. But that’s only the beginning of his terrible story…

Mr. Herjo was caught by police in his cruel lies after he was pulled over for speeding in late January. He told the officers he was rushing his 14-week-old German Shepherd, named Atlas, to the veterinarian because the dog had been run over an ATV.

Here’s the story from Fox News:

Five days later, however, police received information that Herjo was the one behind Atlas’ injuries. By then, Herjo had set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for Atlas’ medical bills. He said the pup suffered from injuries caused by a hit-and-run crash, and reeled in 693 donors, who contributed a total of $14,065. The donations were made during a 28-day period.

Police said they eventually discovered Herjo abused the dog on at least two other occasions within six weeks. Herjo, however, said the dog fell down the stairs and down a hill in two separate incidents.

The dog suffered hemorrhaging and several fractures that required surgery and died on Feb. 3. The death was considered suspicious and evidence allegedly showed the dog suffered additional trauma.

Herjo was arrested March 28 and charged with third degree animal cruelty and third degree theft by deception. His Burlington County Superior Court hearing is pending.

Here’s more from CBS Philly:

“Doing some research and looking into it, it was determined the dog’s injuries were not consistent with what was being alleged to have occurred and there was potential that the dog may have been beaten,” said Lt. Arthur Waterman with the Medford Township Police Department.

A subsequent investigation conducted along with New Jersey State Police found that Herjo had intentionally harmed Atlas.

“This user has violated GoFundMe’s terms of service, and all donors will receive a refund. Additionally, this user has been banned from our platform,” GoFundMe said in a statement.

GoFundMe added that they are working with law enforcement on their investigation.

“I hope he gives those people back their money. I mean 693 people over a vet bill. What a con!” said Jeff Singer, one of Herjo’s neighbors.

What do you think should happen to this horrible man?

How much time in jail should he get for his crimes?