Somerset County officials announced the arrest of Jaheim H. Hoagland, 44, of Hillsborough.
Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson stated that on Monday, September 6, at approximately 9:16 a.m. Hillsborough Township Police Department responded to the area of River Road and Chamberlain Drive for a report of a puppy in distress.
According to Prosecutor Robertson, responding Hillsborough Patrol units, upon canvassing the area, located a total of six dogs in separate animal crates in the driveway of a Chamberlain Drive residence.
Prosecutor Robertson said that one of the dogs located was initially unresponsive in a water-filled crate and subsequently had to be euthanized. Additional dogs were found inside separate crates, partially filled with several inches of water and dog feces.
According to Prosecutor Robertson, responding Officers encountered the homeowner, identified as defendant Jaheim H. Hoagland outside of the residence.
Prosecutor Robertson said that Defendant Hoagland was placed under arrest for an unrelated Somerset County Violation of Probation Warrant, along with two active Municipal Court Warrants from Hillsborough Township and Newark.
Prosecutor Robertson stated that Hillsborough Township Police tended to the animals by providing them water and care while awaiting the response by Animal Control Officers from Animal Control Solutions.
According to Prosecutor Robertson, while caring for the dogs outside of the residence, Hillsborough Township Police heard dog sounds/barking coming from inside the residence. An additional nine dogs were located inside the residence in varying stages of emaciation, without food and water.
Two of the recovered dogs were transported to AnimERge veterinarian for emergency treatment due to their poor condition. A notification was made to the Somerset County Chief Humane Law Enforcement Officer from the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office, who responded to the scene, Prosecutor Robertson stated.
A total of twelve mixed breed Pitbull Terriers, two American Staffordshire Terriers, and one mixed breed Boxer were recovered. One mixed breed Pitbull terrier was euthanized and the additional fourteen dogs were examined and released to Long Hill Kennel located in Hillsborough.
Prosecutor Robertson stated defendant Hoagland was charged with Animal Cruelty and Failure to provide necessary care to an animal, a Disorderly Persons offense.
Defendant Hoagland was lodged at the Somerset County Jail pending a detention hearing in this matter. The incident remains under investigation by the Hillsborough Township Police Department and the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office.
Prosecutor Robertson, Chief Fodor and Chief McMahon request anyone with information relating to this event to contact the Somerset County Prosecutors Office Chief Humane Officer at (908) 575-3353 or the Hillsborough Township Police Department at (908) 369-4323.
Information can also be provided through the Somerset County Crime Stoppers’ Tip Line at 1-888-577-TIPS (8477). All anonymous Crime Stopper tips will be kept confidential.