WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP (Morris) — A Middlesex County man was charged with animal cruelty after officers found nine dead pigs at a farm property on Fairview Avenue.

Joseph Lentine, 74, also was charged with abandoning a domesticated animal. Lentine was issued a summons and released. He is set to appear in Superior Court on Feb. 6.

Township police and members of the state Department of Agriculture responded to a complaint on Jan. 17 and found the remains of the dead animals along with 19 live pigs, at least some which appeared to be malnourished.

Police said other local farms and residents helped provide food and water and new shelters for the surviving animals.

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