Animal Control Officer Left Dog To Die In Kennel Dumpster: Mahwah PD

An animal control officer for several New Jersey towns was arrested after leaving a dog to die in a Dumpster at a kennel he owns and operates in Mahwah, township police said.

Richard A. DuBarton III

Richard A. DuBarton III

Photo Credit: Jerry DeMarco / INSET: Mahwah Police Department

Authorities took Richard A. DuBarton III, 57, into custody and removed 47 malnourished and severely weakened dogs from the Aranwood Kennels after finding them locked outside in freezing temperatures, a Mahwah police complaint says.

They'd been left in dog runs "with feces and urine that [DuBarton] failed to clean up," according to the complaint filed in Superior Court in Hackensack. "Multiple dogs were seen shivering and unable to stand up."

The dogs who were removed from the kennel on Stag Hill Road "were all vetted and given to local dog rescues for the time being," Mahwah Detective Sgt. Eric Larsen said on Wednesday, Feb. 28.

Most of those being boarded were released to their owners, according to law enforcement sources who added that some were to be euthanized because of bite history and aggression.

DuBarton retains more than two dozen personal dogs of his own in conditions that produced 53 summonses from the Bergen County SPCA, they said.

It all began when a customer who boarded a dog at Aranwood called police after hearing whimpering coming from inside the parking lot bin and making the horrific discovery, said Larsen, the detective sergeant.

Stuffed into a garbage bag, the Dutch Shepherd was barely alive and "appeared to be malnourished and near death," he said.

The dog was taken to a nearby animal hospital, Larsen said.

Meanwhile, police seized DuBarton, who "claimed someone must have dumped the dog there," the sergeant said.

Animal Humane Officers Nicole DiPasquale, Sean Hayes, and Micheal Silano learned that DuBarton had taken custody of the dog in Irvington, one of the towns for which he works as an animal control officer.

The owner told them the dog was turned over months earlier to Irvington police, who then summoned DuBarton, Larsen said.

The Mahwah officers contacted all of the jurisdictions that employ DuBarton "and advised [them] of what had occurred at his facility," the sergeant added.

DuBarton, a retired Marine who is also a certified police K-9 instructor, previously made headlines when he was fired as Fair Lawn's animal control officer for posting a video on YouTube in 2011 showing an albino cobra whose bite left a man close to death.

Last week, members of the township police and health departments, the Bergen County SPCA and Tyco Animal Control went to Aranwood and found 47 dogs "locked outside in temperatures below 32 degrees...without access to heat and water," the Mahwah police complaint says.

"Multiple dogs were seen shivering and unable to stand up," according to the complaint written by Silano.

Many "appeared to be malnourished," it says.

Larsen said DuBarton was charged with:

  • Exposing an animal to adverse conditions;
  • Failing to provide medical care to an animal, resulting in serious bodily injury;
  • Failing to provide a sanitary environment;
  • Failing to provide water.

He was released pending a March 8 date in Central Judicial Processing Court in Hackensack, the sergeant said.

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