A Pennsylvania man arrested in August 2018 and charged with multiple counts of third- and fourth-degree animal cruelty pleaded guilty this week, Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri announced.
Officials say Mr. Henry Guzikowski, 55, pleaded guilty to two counts of third-degree animal cruelty before Mercer County Superior Court Judge Thomas M. Brown on May 20.
Under the terms of the plea agreement, the state will recommend probation for Guzikowski conditioned upon 90 days incarceration according to officials.
Officials say Guzikowski will also be required to make reasonable restitution to Hamilton Township for the use of Public Works and other expenses the township incurred during the investigation.
Additionally, Guzikowski will be prohibited from owning or possessing any animals.
Assistant Prosecutor Timothy McCann represented the state. Guzikowski is scheduled to be sentenced on July 12.
The guilty plea is a result of an investigation conducted by the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office Humane Law Enforcement Unit (HLEU).
In August 2018, Hamilton Township officials contacted the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office after receiving numerous complaints from residents and the New Jersey Department of Agriculture.
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.
Police executed a search warrant on August 21, 2018, at Guzikowski’s 14-acre farm on Uncle Pete’s Road in Hamilton.
Detectives discovered 38 runner ducks in one duck coop, two of which were deceased.
The ducks were completely covered in approximately six inches of feces.
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.
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.