Union County News

Roselle Man Charged with Multiple Counts of Animal Cruelty After Search Finds Over 40 Dogs Living in Squalor

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Roselle Man Charged with Multiple Counts of Animal Cruelty After Search Finds Over 40 Dogs Living in Squalor Credits: Union County Prosecutors Office
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ROSELLE, NJ - Charges have been filed on the Roselle man found with more than 40 dogs living in severely unsanitary and inhumane living conditions in his home last month said acting Union County Prosecutor Michael A. Monahan.

Authorities say, Evelio J. Calderon, 40, is charged with than 30 criminal offenses that include two 3rd-degree animal cruelty offenses, 14 counts of 4th-degree animal abuse by failing to provide care, and 15 counts of failure to provide necessary care to an animal, a disorderly persons offense.  

According to Monahan, the charges were filed after the dogs were medically evaluated by veterinarians. 

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Members of the Prosecutor’s Office, the New Jersey Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), Roselle Police Department, and Roselle Board of Health searched Calderon’s home on the 700 block of Thompson Avenue in Roselle last month.  

Authorities said inside, investigators wearing full hazardous materials suits found the animals living in squalor, having been locked inside and forced to relieve themselves indoors for an indeterminate amount of time. The dogs ranged in age from puppies several days old to seniors, varying widely in breed and size, and several were treated on site for acute injuries that included malnourishment, joint problems, and eye issues. 

Additional injuries to the dogs outlined in the charges served on Calderon included visible worms, infected wounds, scars, scratches, and overgrown nails with related lacerations. One of the dogs was missing an ear, while another was missing its tail, said investigators. 

The investigation led by SPCA Investigator Tatiana Verenicin-Chan and assisted by Union County Assistant Prosecutor Patricia Cronin, Prosecutor’s Office Detective Vito Colacitti, and Darcy Del Castillo, supervisor of the Associated Humane Societies based in Newark, arranged for the dogs’ placement and transport.

Members of the Cranford-based Traveling Paws Animal Rescue assisted in attending to the dogs, which were taken to four shelters scattered across New Jersey, including the St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center in Madison, The Last Resort Animal Rescue in West Milford, and the Edison and Montclair municipal animal shelters. 

Anyone with information about this matter or similar incidents can contact Cronin at 908-527-4169 or Colacitti at 908-527-4387. 

Convictions on third-degree crimes can be punishable by 3 to 5 years in state prison, while fourth-degree crimes typically carry penalties ranging from probation to 18 months in prison. 

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