Animal Cruelty/Human Law Enforcement

During 2020, various laws took effect that made County Prosecutors responsible for  investigating and prosecuting violations of the animal cruelty laws. These new laws also required prosecutors to "promote the interests of" and to "protect and care for" the animals within the county.  The County Prosecutor is required to appoint an animal cruelty prosecutor and a chief humane law enforcement officer to fulfill these law enforcement responsibilities. Additionally, the Prosecutor designates a non-profit county society for the prevention of cruelty to animals to assist in animal care and sheltering that may stem from animal cruelty investigations. The Hunterdon County Prosecutor's Office coordinates with local Humane Law Enforcement Officers to conduct animal cruelty investigations and to provide animal care when needed, roles previously undertaken by the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Hunterdon County faces enhanced challenges to fulfill this role considering its significant domestic, as well as agricultural and livestock animal population.