On February 25, 2015, Dante DiPirro, Esq., an animal welfare lawyer representing plaintiff Stuart Goldman, filed a complaint in Monmouth County Superior Court alleging that dozens of nursing goats and sheep are at risk of perishing on a Millstone Township farm unless the court orders immediate relief addressing a complete lack of drinking water, and inadequate food and shelter.
There are over 250 farm animals on the property — including approximately 60 dehydrated nursing goats and sheep, and too many kids to count — all of whom are suffering in the bitter cold without any drinking water, and without sufficient food or shelter.
The law suit names as defendants Christopher Vaccaro, the owner of the property, and his girl friend, Tina Perna, both of whom live on site and are responsible for caring for the animals.
In a certification of support filed with the court, plaintiff’s veterinarian states that based on her inspection and examination of the animals on Sunday, February 22, 2015, the animal care being provided is extremely poor. There was no potable water for the animals, insufficient food for the number of animals, and the shelters were insufficient, in poor repair, filthy and dangerous for the animals even go into the structures.
She found nursing mothers with babies that were seriously dehydrated. She found that animals were already dying — as shown by an emaciated goat carcass found hidden under a tarp in a shed. She concluded that unless the animals get immediate relief, they will continue to die; she anticipated that 20 to 30% of the total population will be dead in a matter of weeks. Most at risk are the nursing mothers, of which there are many dozen on the property.
In the court papers, plaintiff seeks emergent relief that ordering defendants to immediately provide the drinking water that the animals are being deprived of, and other measures needed to prevent further injury or death as the court case proceeds.
Plaintiff has been trying to get assistance for these animals since last winter when the animals were without proper drinking water, food or shelter. In February 2014, he contacted the Monmouth County SPCA, and they inspected and issued animal cruelty violations.
In January of this year Plaintiff had to act again. On January 8, 2015, contacted the MCSPCA to alert them that with bitter winter storms approaching and the farm animals still without proper drinking water, food or shelter, defendants were committing the same animal cruelty laws that Plaintiff had brought to the attention of the SPCA last winter. Goldman, Chief Amato of the MCSPCA and a farm animal care expert then went to the Property. Chief Amato and the animal expert observed that the shelters had no bedding and were inadequate both in number and condition, and that what little drinking water was provided was frozen solid. Goldman observed that the shelters were inadequate. As a result of the inspection, on Goldman filed animal cruelty charges.
Defendants still did not remediate the violations so Plaintiff contacted the MCSPCA again, and as a result Plaintiff and MCSPCA officers have gone to the property several times in January and earlier this month. Plaintiff’s efforts culminated on Sunday, February 22, 2015, when he, the MCSPCA and Plaintiff’s veterinarian went to the property and documented the violations that are the subject of Plaintiff’s lawsuit in Superior Court and request for emergent relief.
The MCSPCA has now also filed cruelty violations for improper drinking water, food and shelter. Its case will be heard in municipal court at the end of March. Plaintiff’s hearing in Superior Court seeking a temporary injunction that would provide immediate protection for the animals will be heard Friday, February 27, 2015 at 1:30 pm.
About his Superior Court case, Goldman said: “The Monmouth County SPCA has been extremely supportive. Chief Amato has gone the property multiple times, has escorted my veterinarian on the property so that the animals’ health could be properly evaluated, and has indicated that both he and his investigators will testify in court in support of this case.”
About the hearing Friday, Dante DiPirro, Esq. said: “Immediate relief from the court is necessary to stop the suffering and death of these poor animals.”
Dante DiPirro Esq. of Hopewell NJ is an animal welfare lawyer.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:
Dante Di Pirro, Esq.
77 Snydertown Road, Hopewell, NJ 08525