A Plainfield resident has admitted responsibility for neglect that resulted in the deaths of multiple puppies, the Union County Prosecutor’s Office and the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) jointly announced Friday.
Suzie Bourdouvales, 38, pleaded guilty to two counts of third-degree animal cruelty. The plea was entered earlier this week before state Superior Court Judge Joseph P. Donohue.
A yearlong investigation into Bourdouvales’s activities, led by SPCA Lt. Frank D. Rizzo II and Investigator Denyel Cusimano, in partnership with the Prosecutor’s Office, resulted in the execution of a search warrant on Thursday, March 8, 2018, according to Union County Assistant Prosecutor Patricia Cronin, who prosecuted the case. On that day a total of 19 dogs of varying ages and medical states, living in unsafe and unsanitary conditions at Bourdouvales’s home on the 600 block of East Front Street in Plainfield, were seized, Cronin said.
The investigation ultimately determined that Bourdouvales had hoarded dozens of sick puppies, many of which died due to a lack of adequate medical care. Despite this, she bred the puppies for sale to customers across the state, with some animals even dying after being sold despite their new owners’ efforts to save them.
As part of her plea, Bourdouvales agreed to pay full restitution for all veterinary costs associated with the necessary care of the dogs seized, pledged to never again own or sell another animal in her lifetime, conceded any interest in her dogs or their offspring, and agreed to a psychiatric evaluation and any recommended treatment. The seized dogs were placed into the care of the Cranford-based Best Friend Dog and Animal Adoption and Traveling Paws Animal Rescue, as well as Brendan’s Meadows Rescue in Mountainside.
Bourdouvales had earlier pleaded guilty to selling sick animals out of her car in Plainfield in 2015, after which she was ordered to pay nearly $20,000 in restitution.
Anyone with information about this matter or similar incidents is urged to contact Cronin, the head of the newly formed humane animal treatment subsection of the Prosecutor’s Office’s Special Prosecutions Unit, at 908-527-4169.