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Animal Cruelty Charges Filed Against Owner of Neglected Horses

Fifteen non-traffic citations for animal cruelty were filed against Damiano Diflorio after police seized neglected horses and mules from his Plainfield Township property.

 police have filed cruelty-to-animals charges against a New Jersey man in connection with living on his Kesslersville Road property.

The charges are contained in 15 non-traffic citations -- one for each animal -- and were mailed to Damiano Diflorio, 63, of 4313 Route 27, Princeton. The animals were living at Diflorio’s property at 5326 Kesslersville Road.

Previous Patch stories listed Diflorio’s first name as “Dominic,” which was a mistake made in the application for a search warrant on file at  office.

The citations were issued on July 9 and contain the signature of Plainfield police officer John Thompson. The dates connected to the alleged violations are June 23, June 25 and June 26.

One of the horses -- an older dark bay welsh pony mix -- was pregnant with twins -- 22 and 24 days old -- that were aborted. The mother also had an “old” broken front right leg, a citation says.

Another horse -- a bay colt that is about 3 years old -- had a left hind leg wound with exposed bone, another citation says.

Most of the citations say the horses and mules had “parasites, overgrown hooves and overgrown teeth” and “were left without proper food and water."

The citations say some of the animals were “running loose.” Other problems include an abscessed eye, a possible spinal injury, anemia and elevated liver enzymes.

A Patch story , a non-profit animal rescue in Richland Township, in caring for the horses and mules.

The ranch was called June 23 for a report of four horses running loose. A subsequent search of the Kesslersville Road property found a fenced-in area that appeared to be ill-suited for the caring of the other 11 horses and mules.

There also was no source of clean water and two horses needed immediate veterinary care.

The story identifies the colt with the exposed bone as Murphy and notes that maggots were eating through the wound. And it identifies the horse who was pregnant with twins as 20- to 30-year-old Annie. Her pregnancy was aborted for her “health and safety,” according to Last Chance Ranch’s Chris Baringer.

A staffer at the office of District Judge Douglas Schlegel of Wind Gap said the office has not heard back from Diflorio. Schlegel’s jurisdiction includes Plainfield Township.

The staffer said if Diflorio would plead guilty to the charges, he would face a fine. If he would plead not guilty, a hearing would be scheduled.

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