Neighbors complained and complained about the 14-acre farm in New Jersey — and when authorities finally searched it, they uncovered horrendous, filthy conditions, prosecutors said.
One coop alone held 38 runner ducks, which were “completely covered” in about six inches of feces, Mercer County prosecutors said in a news release. Two ducks at the Hamilton Township property were dead. In another coop — this one housing chickens — detectives found 54 birds, prosecutors said. One of the chickens was dead and all seemed diseased during the August 21 raid.
Even more chickens were in an abandoned home on the property. Five of those 12 chickens were dead, and a sixth died as investigators carried out the search, prosecutors said.
Henry Guzikowski, Jr., the 54-year-old Yardley, Pennsylvania, man who owned the farm, was also keeping nine hogs in a “garage-like structure” at the farm, prosecutors said. Those animals were caked in feces, too.
Guzikowski had another hog as well — but this one, which weighed in at 500 pounds, had left the farm and was roving around a nearby neighborhood as the search took place. Neighbors called Hamilton Township animal control, and officials had to coax the hog into a pen using food as bait, prosecutors said.
Authorities arrested Guzikowski on several charges of third- and fourth-degree animal cruelty, prosecutors said.
Guzikowski has now been released, but a court order prevents him from either adding or removing the livestock from the property for a month, prosecutors said.
Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri said in a statement that authorities “were able to secure all of the live animals in makeshift pens and provide them with food, water and shelter.” He also noted that food was donated from locals to help feed the abused animals.
Authorities said homes are still being sought for many of the animals.