A Newark man was charged with 26 counts of alleged animal cruelty after Secaucus police staked out a 30-foot trailer on Secaucus Road, east of County Avenue, and caught him with 26 roosters on Friday, June 21, Secaucus Mayor Michael Gonnelli said.
Police had been at a site behind a seafood business most of that day after they received an anonymous telephone call in the morning, Gonnelli said. An animal cruelty investigator from the Hudson Regional Health Commission was present.
The 26 animals confiscated did not include several on the outside of the trailer which could not be caught, according to Gonnelli.
The was no food or water in the trailer for the animals, the mayor alleged. In addition, the Health Department determined that the inside temperature of the trailer was 120 degrees.
“All the roosters were shaved. They were all in separate cages,” Gonnelli said. “It seems like they were in anticipation of cock fights.”
The roosters’ talons were also filed down, possibly for cockfighting, said Geoffrey Santini, humane law enforcement officer for the Hudson County Sheriff’s Department and West New York. In addition, the animals’ feathers were removed, to make entry into their bodies easier.
“The town will be seeking full restitution for all expenses incurred by the municipality as a result of these offenses.” – Mayor Michael Gonnelli
Officials found a permanent home for the roosters at Swift Farms in Milford.
“The town will be seeking full restitution for all expenses incurred by the municipality as a result of these offenses,” Gonnelli said.
Kevin O’Connor, superintendent of the Department of Public Works, said that even though there were two instances of potential animal violations within five weeks in Secaucus (see cover story), incidents like these were rare in the town.
“It’s about as common as a hurricane – not that common,” he said.
Joseph Passantino may be reached at JoePass@hudsonreporter.com.