Monday, January 25, 2010

Paul Anthony Novicki / Gina S. Rapuano, Rambling River Ranch - New Haven, Connecticut

Jan 27, 2009: AG seeks custody of neglected animals

Attorney General Richard Blumenthal filed a motion, Wednesday, for custody of dozens more animals seized from the property of a man recently arrested for separate animal cruelty charges related to a North Haven farm, and who has a long record of animal cruelty cases in Connecticut.

Attorney General Blumenthal, on behalf of theDepartment of Agriculture (DoAg) is seeking permanent state custody of the latest seized animals, restitution for the costs of caring for the animals and an order barring animal owner Paul Novicki from owning or possessing any animals going forward.

Collectively over the last several years, the state has seized approximately 178 neglected animals belonging to Novicki.

"We are asking the court to stop a serial animal abuser; someone who has repeatedly neglected animals and wasted state resources through numerous and large-scale animal seizures," Attorney General Blumenthal said. "We are fighting to protect and permanently take these latest animals seized, obtain money for their care and block harm to future animals."

Commissioner of Agriculture, F. Philip Prelli, said, "I applaud efforts to treat all violators of animal cruelty laws, especially repeat offenders, seriously." He also lauded the efforts of state and local animal control officers, as well as public safety officials and all those involved in the rescue and rehabilitation of these animals.

The DoAg, on Jan. 14 and Jan. 22, collectively seized two horses, two mules, two burros, three cows, two dogs, 15 chickens, 26 rabbits, three pheasants, six ducks and one cat from Novicki's property at 50 Doolittle Lane, Hamden..." More

Repeat Offender Facing Charges in Hoarding CasePosted by Scott Heiser, Director of ALDF's Criminal Justice Program on January 22nd, 2010

In December 2009, over 35 animals – including 19 horses and three mules – were seized by authorities from alleged neglect which reportedly included filthy and hazardous stable conditions, inadequate food and water, and failure to provide veterinary care. Paul Anthony Novicki and Rambling River Ranch owner Gina S. Rapuano of New Haven, Connecticut are now facing a total of 33 counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty, with Ms. Rapuano additionally facing multiple felony counts of forgery and evidence-tampering. The animals have since been forfeited over to authorities and are recovering. Online records reflect previous animal cruelty cases against Paul Novicki who was convicted in 2003, 2006 and 2008, with various probation violations resulting in additional arrests.The recidivism rate among animal hoarders approaches 100%. While the criminal justice system may not be the ideal venue for accomplishing mental health interventions, the cyclical criminal suffering of so many animals demands the participation of the courts – where psychological treatment should be meaningfully pursued. The pathology of animal hoarding is not fully understood, and the method of treatment should be deliberately considered case by case. The Hoarding of Animals Research Consortium (HARC), among its other resources, has released a paper which seeks to inform therapists who find themselves addressing a case of animal hoarding..." More

ALDF How you can help:
Send an email to the State's Attorney to thank him for a strong and thorough prosecution, and for seeking meaningful sentences that address recidivism issues upon conviction.

Locals may support the prosecution by attending court proceedings. Pre-trial hearing dates are currently scheduled for January 27 and February 4, 2010. (Always contact the Court to confirm court dates and locations as they are subject to change.) Clerk of the CourtJudicial District at New Haven235 Church StreetNew Haven, CT 06510Phone: 203-503-6800

case #NNH -CR10-0256643-T (Novicki)

case #NNH -CR10-0256644-T (Rapuano)

Work with your state legislators toward a “First Strike and You’re Out” law. ALDF drafted this model law to address the issue of repeat offenders and the cruel and costly toll they take on their communities.

Dec 18, 2009: State Seizes Animals, Cites Neglect

By Shelly Sindland

NORTH HAVEN — - Horses, dogs and other animals were seized Wednesday from a Spring Road stable where state officials say they found neglect and poor conditions.

F. Philip Prelli, the state agriculture commissioner, said the animals were in poor health and lacking veterinary care. He also said some of the smaller animals in a home on the property had not had food or water for two days.

The Department of Agriculture had been working with the
Rambling River Ranch since October 2008 to get proper care for the animals. But Prelli said the department decided that conditions were not improving and seized 14
horses, three mules and two ponies from the property Wednesday morning. They also seized four dogs, a goat and a number of ducks.

The horses were taken to Gates Correctional Institution in Niantic, where inmates care for the animals.

Gina Rapuano, the ranch's owner, said she was devastated by the state's action.

"I love my animals. I would never not feed them, I swear to God," she said. " They were fed every day, always had water."

Rapuano said she is recovering from surgery and, with the hard times, people who board their horses there haven't been paying her. She said she often goes without food to feed animals and denied she has done anything wrong and wants the animals back.."
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