Authorities in New Jersey say they seized more than 200 pets and farm animals from a couple who sells livestock after finding dozens of dead animals strewn about and piled up at their home, which had no heat or hot water since February, and another property where they kept animals.
Animal cruelty charges are pending against Chad Lloyd, 36, and Kimberly Brown, 23, authorities say. The man and woman already face child endangerment charges for allegedly exposing their two young daughters, aged 3 and 10, to numerous decomposed animals at their home in Independence Township and keeping them in a home without proper heating and supplies.
The investigation began April 1 after an animal control officer corralling some loose pigs the couple owned noticed several dead animals in various states of decomposition strewn throughout and near their property. The officer called the SPCA, which responded and found dozens more dead animals -- a number that "shocked" and "overwhelmed" responding officers, the agency said. Dozens of live animals in need of food, water and medical attention, were seized.
Lloyd told officers that he housed more animals at another property in Lafayette, the SPCA says. When they arrived at that location, they found a “large pile” of dead animals, along with dozens more emaciated and sick creatures. Many of the dead animals on the secondary property were chickens.
The dead animals in the couple's residence included cows, chickens, rats, a piglet and goats, including one left in a room attached to the master bedroom, Lloyd told investigators, according to a criminal complaint. Asked why they hadn't been cleaned up, Lloyd allegedly said he "guessed" he was lazy. When Brown was questioned about leaving the dead animals on the property, she said they hadn't gotten around to it with all the snow, according to a criminal complaint.
"This is a major case and we will provide updates in the next few days. Horrific undertaking at two different locations that will not soon be forgotten by any of our Officers on scene," The SPCA said in a Facebook post.
The SPCA says that the surviving animals have been taken to animal sanctuaries in the state. Several pigs, goat kids, cows and calves, pheasants, chickens and chicks, ducks, geese, hamsters, guinea pigs, turkeys were rescued from the properties. An emu, partridge, chinchilla and a snake were also seized.
The Barnyard Sanctuary took three infant goats found at the property and said in a Facebook post that one of of the kids died shortly after arriving and that they are fighting to keep a second one alive.
Two other animals have died since being rescued, the SPCA says. The SPCA is asking for donations to help care for the animals.
A telephone number for Lloyd has been disconnected, while a number for Brown could not be located. They could both face 20 years in prison if convicted on the child endangerment counts.
It wasn't known if either Lloyd or Brown had retained lawyers.