Mercer County animal shelter supervisors accused of prematurely euthanizing 236 cats, 93 dogs

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, New Jersey (WPVI) -- A former supervisor and director of the Hamilton Township Animal Shelter have been charged with animal cruelty.

A Mercer County grand jury handed up indictments against 63-year-old Jeff Plunkett and 57-year-old Todd Bencivengo-- also alleging official misconduct.

Prosecutors say between January 2016 and October 2018, 236 cats and 93 dogs were prematurely euthanized at the shelter without being offered for adoption or held for a week, as required by state law.

The investigation began in August 2018 after two complaints.

"While the HLEU's investigation of the animal shelter uncovered multiple examples of mismanagement, there was insufficient evidence to establish any additional criminal charges. Any administrative aspects of the investigation are being handled by the Hamilton Township Council," said the Mercer County Prosecutor's Office in a press release.

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