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.

News Link:-

States Give Green Light On Pet Driving Laws

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Not all driving distractions ring or beep. Some of them bark.

And so, animal protection and automobile safety officials nationwide are starting to unleash a new message: Restrain your pet on the road.

“You wouldn’t put your child in the car unrestrained, so you shouldn’t put your pet in the car unrestrained, either,” says Col. Frank Rizzo, superintendent of the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NJSPCA).

In a 2010 survey by AAA, 20% of participants admitted to letting their dog sit on their lap while driving. A “staggering” 31% said they were distracted by their dog while driving, says Raymond Martinez, chairman of New Jersey’s Motor Vehicle Commission.

“What people come to realize only too late is that animals act like flying missiles in an impact and can not only hurt themselves but hurt their human family members, too,” Rizzo says.

Only a few states have passed legislation requiring animal restraints in moving vehicles, and in some of those states laws apply only to animals riding in the exterior of the vehicle, such as the bed of a pickup, according to AAA, formerly known as the American Automobile Association.

•In New Jersey, under state law, NJSPCA officers can stop a driver they believe is improperly transporting an animal. Tickets range from $250 to $1,000 per offense, and a driver can face a disorderly person’s offense under animal-cruelty laws.

•Hawaii explicitly forbids drivers from holding a pet on their lap. In Arizona, Connecticut and Maine, distracted-driving laws can be used to charge drivers with pets on their laps.

•In Rhode Island, Democratic state Rep. Peter Palumbo has proposed legislation to make having a dog in your lap a distracted-driving violation after a complaint from someone who witnessed a driver, whose view was blocked by a lap dog, change lanes.

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Animal complaints filed against owner of puppies saved from fire

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“3 cheers to those fire man, true heroes to man or beast – Well done guys!!”

HOPEWELL TOWNSHIP — Township animal control officials have issued summonses for 11 counts of failure to obtain a dog license and one count of animal cruelty to the owner of 18 dogs rescued from a house fire April 2.

Court complaints were filed against township resident Ramona Burnett by animal control officer Belinda Ogitis on Wednesday, township administrator Paul Pogorzelski said yesterday. Municipal court officials confirmed that the complaints were filed, and that a court date of April 24 had been set for Burnett.

Firefighters battling a house fire on Pennington Road in Hopewell Township Monday evening saved 15 puppies from a burning house, outfitting them with canine oxygen masks and setting up a makeshift animal hospital and kennel in the front yard of the house

Police this week ruled that the fire was the result of a scented candle left unattended and closed the case on their joint investigation into the cause of the fire conducted with the Hopewell Township Bureau of Fire Safety, the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office and the county fire marshal’s office.

“The fire was determined at this point as not suspicious,” said township police Lt. Tom Puskas. “We believe that it was accidental and was related to some scented candles that were in the room.”

The evening house fire exposed the puppies to thick smoke. They were rescued one by one and treated on the front yard of the home by firefighters and paramedics. One puppy died, but the two people who lived in the rental property made it out safely.

Pogorzelski said the animal cruelty complaint was filed because matted hair was found on the tail of one of the dogs, and veterinarians at SAVE Animal Rescue in Princeton described it as “potentially dangerous.”

“I think that they felt that (the puppies) should have been cared for differently, and therefore a summons for cruelty was issued,” Pogorzelski said.

Matt Stanton, spokesman for the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NJSPCA), said matted fur, especially on a dog’s tail, can become serious and lead to infection and the eventual amputation of the tail if left untreated. He also said that charges are typically considered more serious when recognized by a veterinarian.

“If the veterinarian raised the red flag,” he said, “it means a little more because you have a doctor who is trained to see this stuff.”

Court officials yesterday said that the complaints are akin to a municipal ordinance violation and would likely bring just fines, similar to a petty disorderly persons complaint.

Pogorzelski said six of the dogs are currently in Burnett’s possession, while eight remain at SAVE’s kennels.

Contact David Karas at (609) 989-5731 or


Cat’s extensive burns raise suspicions of animal abuse

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See link below for video -ANDOVER TWP.

When a 3-year-old cat named Pontiac was taken to the Andover Animal Hospital last week, all the signs pointed to abuse.

His whiskers were singed. He had burns that looked like someone had taken a hot fire poker to his body. And, his legs were burnt so badly that the tendon could be seen and he could barely walk. One doctor at the hospital described Pontiac’s smell as an ash tray.

This case of suspected abuse has led the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NJSPCA), a law enforcement office for animal abuseand neglect, to investigate what happened.

“We are in the middle of trying to find out who did it,” NJSPCA Spokesman Matt Stanton said. “(The animal hospital) did not feel that it was an accidental burn from being under an exhaust system in a car.”

Stanton said that the active investigation may lead to a reward for information, which could range from hundreds to thousands of dollars. But, in the meantime, this black and white cat with a cuddly personality is still at the Andover Animal Hospital attached to two IVs and with neon green-yellow bandages on his front legs and back.

Rachel Bezak, an Andover Borough resident, had been caring for this outdoor cat since March because his owner had to move to a location that did not allow cats. A week ago, she became worried since he did not come to her home for food. After searching, she found him curled up in a pile of carpeting in a neighbor’s driveway that had been dumped there during an apartment renovation.

“As I approached him, I found him out of sorts and like he had been in a fire,” she said. “He smelled like burned fur and ashes were literally falling off parts of his body. As happy as he was to see my friendly, familiar face, he was also very reluctant to be touched.”

Bezak took the cat to the Andover Animal Hospital on Newton-Sparta Road and the NJSPCA was called. But, Pontiac’s owner was unable to pay the imminent hospital bills so hospital receptionist Carol O’Neill adopted him.

“My thoughts and prayers go out to him and to the amazing woman who took the responsibility of giving him the medical attention he needs right now,” Bezak said.

O’Neill has since renamed the cat Sparky to “give him a new start.” The new start is slow since he still faces daily treatments that are painful.

“He may lose his left leg,” O’Neill said, as she and others at the hospital tear up in front of Sparky’s cage. “He is such a sweet cat. I don’t know who could do this.”

Sparky undergoes hydrotherapy once a day where his wounds on his back, ear and legs are washed, but the treatment can be so painful that he must be sedated. He also has Manuka honey applied to his wounds, and then is rewrapped every day.

Dr. Shelley Parker, a veterinarian at the hospital, said that in her 11 years of practice she has only seen one other case of abuse like this.

“He’s eating better,” Parker said as O’Neill fed him treats. “Some of the wounds are getting better, but others are not.”

Veterinarian Technician Laura Keck added that “it’s a day by day thing.”

For O’Neill, the difficult part has been the nearly $2,000 in medical bills that Sparky has acquired. The Andover Animal Hospital staff believes that Sparky needs to be taken to a hospital that can specialize in his care, but this means that the medical bills will become far more substantial.

“I’m not giving up now,” O’Neill said about the specialized treatment facilities.

Bezak, who works at Lion Technology in Lafayette, has taken to Facebook to raise money for the cat and has also organized so that people at her work can wear jeans if they donate. Persons wishing to donate can contact the Andover Animal Hospital at

Despite the long recovery ahead, Sparky is in positive spirits. He loves having his belly rubbed and opens his big green eyes when O’Neill pets him.

“I can’t even imagine what he must have gone through,” Bezak said. “I wish he could tell us so we could know the truth.”

News Link:-New Jersey Herald

Video link:-cats-extensive-burns-raise-suspicions-of-animal-abuse?autoStart=true&topVideoCatNo=default&clipId=6936601

Salem City man beat pit bull puppy so severely dog had to be euthanized, NJSPCA officials allege |

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SALEM — A city man has been charged with animal cruelty after allegedly beating his pit bull puppy so severely that the dog had to be euthanized, animal welfare officials said.Salem County Puppy.jpg

The New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals filed two counts of animal cruelty against Raseem McNeil, 18, according to the NJSPCA.

Officials with the animal welfare organization allege McNeil admitted to beating and kicking the eight-week-old pit bull puppy, but did not say what prompted the alleged action.

Examined by Dr. Heather Lingley, NJSPCA veterinarian, because of its injuries, the puppy was euthanized, NJSPCA officials said. They added a necropsy on the dog reconfirmed the severity of its injuries.

The charges against McNeil were filed by the NJSPCA on Thursday, officials confirmed Monday.

via Salem City man beat pit bull puppy so severely dog had to be euthanized, NJSPCA officials allege |

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