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Hamilton Farm Owner Arrested After Over 100 Animals Found in Deplorable Conditions

By kcora on
Hamilton Township (Atlantic)

Animal Cruelty Investigation at Hamilton Township Farm Results in Arrest

Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri announced today that an investigation conducted by his newly-formed Humane Law Enforcement Unit has resulted in the arrest of Henry Guzikowski Jr. on charges of animal cruelty.

According to authorities, earlier this month, Hamilton Township officials contacted the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office after receiving numerous complaints from residents and the New Jersey Department of Agriculture against Guzikowski, 54, of Yardley, Pa., who owns a 14-acre farm on Uncle Pete’s Road in Hamilton.

Officials say an investigation was initiated by HLEU and with the assistance of the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, Hamilton Township Animal Control, Hamilton Township Building Inspections, Hamilton Township Public Works and the Hamilton Township Police Division, a search warrant was executed on Aug. 21st.

Upon arrival, detectives discovered 38 runner ducks in one duck coop, two of which were deceased, while two ducks were found completely covered in approximately six inches of feces.

Officials say twelve chickens were found inside the abandoned house. Five were dead and another died while officials were securing the property.

In the chicken coop, detectives located approximately 54 chickens, one of which was deceased. All appeared to be infected with disease and one had severe growths on its feet.

In addition, nine pigs covered in feces were discovered in a garage-like structure on the property.

As investigators were working, Hamilton Township Animal Control received notification that the 500-pound hog from the property was roaming the nearby neighborhood. HLEU, with the assistance of Hamilton Animal Control and Public Works, lured the hog back with food and secured it in a pen.

Police arrested Guzikowski and charged him with multiple counts of third- and fourth-degree animal cruelty.

Officials say he was released pending future court proceedings and served with a court order prohibiting him from adding or removing any animals at the location for 30 days.

During the investigation, it was discovered that Mercer County has a historic preservation easement for the house on the property, which required Guzikowski to maintain, preserve and protect the property’s historic character.

Prosecutor Onofri stated that his office has advised Mercer County of the search warrant findings so that any potential violations may be investigated.

Prosecutor Onofri praised the collaborative efforts of all of the agencies who assisted in removing the animals from the deplorable conditions, particularly Hamilton Township Animal Control and the Department of Public Works. “Thanks to the extraordinary effort of these employees, we were able to secure all of the live animals in makeshift pens and provide them with food, water and shelter. Workers constructed pens on site and have been taking care of the animals for a week.”

Prosecutor Onofri also thanked John Hart and Elizabeth Schreiber of Rosedale Mills in Pennington for generously donating enough food to sustain all of the animals for a week.

The New Jersey Department of Agriculture tested all of the ducks and chickens for various diseases. Homes are still needed for many of the rescued animals. Anyone interested in fostering or adopting should contact Sgt. Eric Hastings of the prosecutor’s Humane Law Enforcement Unit at ehastings@mercercounty.org or (609) 989-6063.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Amanda E. Nini, chief of HLEU.

Despite having been charged, every defendant is presumed innocent until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.