Neighbors: There were warning signs for Marine Accused of Drowning Puppies

POSTED: 7:03 AM Mar 05 2012   UPDATED: 8:11 AM Mar 06 2012

Neighbors of a Jacksonville man accused of killing puppies told NewsChannel 12 that looking back they could see the warning signs.

Marine Cpl. Benjamin Asher Link, 21 of Jacksonville, faces two counts each of cruelty to animals and disposition of dead domesticated animals, and one count of assaulting a government official. Link had his first appearance in Onslow County District Court on Monday.

Police said Link drowned two of his puppies, placed their bodies inside bags, and then ditched the bags in a dumpster behind his home.

Neighbor Tomara Burge said that Link had complained of the puppies before, "he was talking about how they weren't potty trained but it was kind of aggravating and he was going to get through it? I just didn't think it'd come to that."

Another neighbor, Madeline Fleshman, never saw this coming either.

Fleshman said that Link was a nice guy; however, she was alarmed when she discovered a stray dog she saved belonged to Link. According to Fleshman, Link didn?t want the dog back ?and he walks up and goes, you have my dog? you've been taking care of her? do you want to keep her?"

Alan Davis, the Director of Onslow County Animal Services, told NewsChannel 12 evidence of the following suggests an animal may be in trouble:

-An animal tied outside without adequate food or water -An animal with a body weight that is inappropriate for its size and breed -An animal left outside without proper shelter

If you think an animal is in danger, call Onslow County Animal Services at (910) 455-0182.