Connecticut Attorney General's Office

Press Release

Attorney General Announces Order Permanently Barring Serial Animal Abuser From Owning Or Overseeing Animals

February 8, 2010

Attorney General Richard Blumenthal obtained an order today on behalf of the Department of Agriculture (DoAg) permanently barring a man with a long history of animal neglect and abuse from ever owning or managing animals in the future.

The court order prohibits Paul Novicki of Hamden from owning, possessing or controlling any animal or leasing out his property to possess, control or house animals -- including housing any animal for free.

over the last several years, the state has seized approximately 178 neglected animals from Novicki. In the most recent seizure from Novicki's Hamden property last month, the state seized two horses, two mules, two burros, 26 rabbits, 15 chickens, six ducks, three pheasants, two dogs and one cat.

The court granted the state permanent custody of all of Novicki's animals in this latest case. The two dogs and cat, which did not belong to Novicki, have been returned to their owner.

"This court order stops serial animal neglect and chronic abuse," Blumenthal said. "This remedy is extreme, but essential -- reflecting the substantial state time and taxpayer dollars necessary to stop repeated problems.

"Conviction after conviction was no deterrence against continued abuse, demanding a permanent order forever barring Novicki from owning or even overseeing animals. My office will continue to work with the Department of Agriculture to ensure that Novicki complies with this order."

Commissioner of Agriculture F. Philip Prelli said, "The Department of Agriculture is pleased with the outcome of the judgment that the Court has imposed on Mr. Novicki. This will hopefully put an end to his habitual behavior of animal neglect. As the animals improve in health we hope to find suitable homes for them. We are very pleased with the speedy resolution of this case."

In addition to last month's seizure, Novicki has repeatedly faced criminal animal neglect and cruelty charges over the years, including one that recently resulted in the confiscation of several dozen animals from the Rambling Ranch farm in North Haven. The cases, starting as far back as 2003, include:

  • In 2003, the state seized and ultimately won permanent custody of neglected animals from Novicki, including 27 horses, one mule and one cow. Novicki entered a plea of two counts of cruelty to animals in that case.

  • Novicki was criminally convicted on one count of animal cruelty in 2006 after the state again seized one horse, one donkey, one mule, seven chickens and 18 chicks owned by Novicki.

  • In 2008, Novicki was criminally convicted a third time of one count of animal cruelty after the state seized and won permanent custody of more animals belonging to Novicki, including five horses, three mules, 38 rabbits, two chickens, two ducks and three pheasants.

  • And most recently, Novicki was arrested for six counts of animal cruelty after the state seized animals that Novicki was boarding at a North Haven farm, including four horses and two mules. In that ongoing case, Rambling Ranch farm owner Gina-Lee Rapuano also faces charges. In this case, the state seized a total of 19 horses, three mules, one goat, two guinea pigs, two rabbits, two doves, one parakeet, two ferrets and four dogs.