The state has taken custody of almost 200 of Paul Novicki’s animals and now they have custody of him too.
Since at least 2003, animal control officers have been investigating Novicki and allegations of neglected animals boarded at Rambling River Ranch in North Haven.
Novicki -- who happens to live on Doolittle Lane – as in the doctor who could talk to animals – turned himself in to state police on Monday on 56 cruelty to animals charges and was not able to post bond.
Novicki was first convicted of animal cruelty in 2003 and the state took 27 horses and a mule from his property. He pleaded guilty to animal cruelty in 2005.
Then, in 2007, Novicki violated his probation and state animal control officers took five more horses and three mules.
Since December, the state has removed an entire menagerie, including horses, ponies and mules that state officials say were neglected. They have also taken burros, dogs, chickens, rabbits, pheasants and ducks.
On Jan. 12, Novicki was arrested, charged with six counts of animal cruelty and the court ordered him to have “no possession or control of any animal.” Then come the additional 56 counts, as well and two counts of violating conditions of bond set for a previous arrest on animal cruelty charges.
“With the recent civil injunction permanently barring Mr. Novicki from owning animals, issued by the Hartford Superior Court, and this arrest on criminal animal cruelty charges, the Department of Agriculture hopes the long saga of animal neglect by Mr. Novicki is over,” Agriculture Commissioner F. Philip Prelli said.