Keith and Shauna Morgan were arraigned on animal cruelty charges in a Brick Township courtroom.
Keith Morgan, 56, and Shauna Morgan, 43, initially claimed they found the dog, named Sammy, in a trash bag before bringing it to the shelter in March. The pooch was covered in urine, and his fur was so matted together that he couldn't stand.
Sammy is now at a foster home with other cocker spaniels and said to be doing well.
More than 250 people packed the courtroom in support of the dog.
If convicted, the Morgans face a maximum of six months in jail and up to $1,000 fine on each count.