Hunterdon Humane Animal Shelter Faces Animal Cruelty Charges

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Distressing news on Thursday when the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal’s Law Enforcement Division joined with the Hunterdon County Prosecutor’s Office and issued two search warrants for the Hunterdon Humane Animal Shelter on Stamets Road in Alexandria Road and a nearby veterinarian hospital.

According to, Captain Rick Yocum, the president of the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals stated an investigation has been ongoing because of complaints about inhumane conditions at the facility.

Seventeen cats were removed and were transported to the Flemington Animal Hospital. Four of the cats were humanely euthanized. All of the animals have been receiving medical attention. The facility failed to quarantine sick cats with respiratory infections thus spreading illness to healthy cats.

There are also two pigs living in terrible condition at the facility. A decision from the Department of Agriculture will determine their fate.

Charges are expected to be filed within a week to ten days.

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Readington Township Olympic equestrian cleared of criminal animal cruelty charges, faces civil complaints – UPDATE

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Though cleared of criminal animal cruelty charges, an Olympic equestrian from Readington Township faces several civil complaintsalleging he tortured a horse.

Cesar Parra competes in September in the Prix St. Georges Class with Grandioso.

Hunterdon County Prosecutor Anthony Kearns III announced today that he’s dismissed a fourth-degree animal cruelty charge against Cesar Parra, 49, due to “insufficient evidence”surrounding the 2009 incident that severely injured a Hanoverian horse he was training.

Parra has maintained that the injury to William PFF, though sad, was an accident and expressed relief that the charges have been dropped.

“I am so very happy that the prosecutors could see the truth,” Parra said in an email. “It was a terrible and unfortunate accident that happened in my barn, but to say that there was intent or wrongdoing or negligence is totally wrong. … I know and respect that the prosecutor had to do a thorough investigation, but every day that went by was difficult for me.”

Parra isn’t quite out of the legal woods. The Hunterdon County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, which filed the initial criminal charges, has two outstanding animal cruelty civil complaints against the Olympian that the prosecutor’s office has sent back to Readington Township Municipal Court.

The horse’s owner, Trudy Miranda, has also filed a suit against Parra in New Jersey Superior Court in Flemington, seeking punitive and compensatory damages, according to her attorney, Jeffrey Pocaro.

When informed that the criminal charges were dismissed, Miranda questioned the quality of the investigation.

“As far as I’m concerned, Hunterdon County did not do their job,” she said. “They did not investigate it thoroughly.”

The Feb. 20 civil complaint alleges that Parra restrained William PFF too tightly during a training exercise known as lunging. The restraints caused the horse so much pain that it flipped itself over and couldn’t stand unassisted for five hours, the complaint states. Before the horse fully recovered from this incident, Parra had William PFF try lunging again, an act that, combined with the previous injury, reduced the horse to a “vegetable on four legs,” according to the complaint.

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Animal cruelty charges against Olympic equestrian, Readington resident dismissed

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READINGTON TWP. – The Hunterdon County Prosecutor’s Office will be dismissing animal cruelty charges against Olympic equestrian and Whitehouse Station resident Cesar Parra, County Prosecutor Anthony Kearns announced today.

In March 2012, the Hunterdon County SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) issued four summonses to Parra, 49, of Whitehouse Station, after a complaint was made regarding an incident that occurred almost three years prior, Kearns said.

Parra was accused by the SPCA of “torture or torment to a living animal” after a horse he was training was injured in June 2009, according to the prosecutor.

Of the four summonses issued to Parra, one was related to a fourth degree crime, one was for a disorderly persons offense, and two were civil complaints, said Kearns.

The one criminal summons related to the disorderly persons offense was reviewed by the Hunterdon County Prosecutor’s Office, which determined that the incident “occurred almost three years prior to the complaints being issued and the Statute of Limitations on Disorderly Persons offenses is one year, therefore that summons was dismissed,” the prosecutor explained.

“In regards to the remaining fourth degree criminal complaint, a thorough investigation into this matter was completed by my office, including multiple witness interviews,” said Kearns. “It has been determined that there is insufficient evidence to proceed with criminal charges in the case. The summons will be dismissed. The two civil complaints have been referred back to the Readington Township Municipal Court for appropriate disposition.”

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