The Monmouth County SPCA Humane Law Enforcement were called out to a Dey Grove Road farm in Manalapan Township on Thursday, Dec. 27 for a report of 5 horses being trapped in a flooded stable.
The owner of the horse farm, Camejo Rodriguez, lives in Clifton, NJ and had hired workers to take care of the farm. Rodriguez faces 8 criminal charges of animal cruelty and neglect which could cost him up to $8,000 in fines, the Asbury Park Press reported. Rodriguez’s initial appearance in front of Judge James M. Newman of Manalapan Township is scheduled for Jan. 14.
This is not the first time that Rodriguez’s farm has flooded and his horses have been in danger, Monmouth County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) Chief Humane Law Enforcement Officer Victor "Buddy" Amato said. A giant creek base is located on the side of the property and the back of the land declines making the farm prone to flooding.
“There’s nothing you can do about it unless you regrade the whole property,” Monmouth County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) Chief Humane Law Enforcement Officer Victor "Buddy" Amato said.
The last time that the SPCA Law Enforcement was called out to the property was during Hurricane Irene when Amato and his officers had to swim out to the horse stalls in order to get the animals to higher ground. Rodriguez was given a warning to rectify the situation, but the property has continued to flood every time it rains, according to Amato.
“What really annoyed us is that he knows that when it rains it floods and it is subject to that problem and he never came out to deal with it on [Thursday],” Amato said. “That’s just wrong.”
Rodriguez told Amato that a worker was told to go over to the farm to deal with the flood, but failed to do so. Amato said he does not want to bring the worker into the case and that one person would not have been able to help the horses in the high flood waters.
The horses are now staying in a barn on a neighboring property on Dey Grove Road. There are four mares and one stallion. Amato has made sure that the stallion, which is not neutered, is in a separate area from the mares so that he does not disturb the mares and instigate a fight, which could be dangerous. The mares and the stallion were in close proximity on Rodriguez’s property, which is risky, according to Amato.
Jill Quaglietta called in the abuse to Amato, who initially thought the farm was located in Middlesex County. According to the Asbury Park Press, Quaglietta lives in Monroe Township and had long suspected animal neglect on the property.
Amato said that he hopes the case is solved at Rodriguez’s initial appearance. At the very least, Rodriguez will be made to regrade his property so that this does not happen again, according to Amato, but the judge could also decide to take the horses away from Rodriguez.
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