A South Brunswick man is facing charges in Plainfield Township after two horses he owns were seized due to neglect.
Dominic Deflorio, 63, who resides in the section of South Brunswick with a Princeton mailing address on Route 27, was charged with animal cruelty after failing to provide two horses with needed medical attention.
The two neglected horses were suffering from serious leg injuries and were “in dire need of veterinary care” that the owner was unwilling to provide, according to authorities. The horses were seized from a private property by Plainfield police Monday night, according to court records.
One brown colt had a leg wound that maggots were eating through and exposing bone. The other horse, a brown mare, had suffered a broken leg.
But like something out of a Disney movie, other horses in a 15-animal herd that occupy the property were helping the wounded mare to stay upright, according to an application for a search warrant on file at District Judge Joseph Barner’s office.
The officer who filed the warrant, Scott E. Zabriskie, wrote that he “believes the seizure of the … two horses is necessary for their survival, as they require immediate veterinary care, of which the owner ... is unwilling to provide."
Deflorio, who could not be reached for two days following an initial complaint, told police on Monday that he would take the horses back to his property in New Jersey. However, police took the horses from the property at 5326 Kesslersville Road at a little before 9 p.m.
From the description in the search warrant, there was no source of clean water on the site – only “a green, algae-ridden pond” and “one water trough, partially filled with dirty water.”
The trough is located “at the bottom of a large ravine,” the warrant says. “Due to the location of the trough, one of the horses observed on the property could not access the water trough.”
The responders also could provide no water to the animals from the property itself. Water service to the property had been shut off, Zabriskie wrote.
There was no word in the warrant about the condition of, or provisions for, the other 13 horses on site.
Police were called to the scene on Saturday for a report that four horses were loose in the area of Youngs Hill and Kesslersville roads. Neighbors had captured the horses, which had apparently escaped through a hole in the fence at the property before police arrived.