Town Taking Care Of Pig, Other Animals Seized After Arrest

Photo courtesy Toms River Township

  TOMS RIVER – The town is taking good care of some animals after their owner was taken into custody, officials said.

  Joseph Kelly, 56, was taken into custody after coming to the police station on July 8 and pulling into the parking lot with a loaded shotgun.

  He was arrested without incident, police said at the time. They went to his home afterward and recovered a number of animals: a German shepherd, nine turtles and a pig. The pig was estimated to be about 500 pounds at the time, but is probably closer to 350 pounds.

  The animals are now being cared for at the Toms River Animal Shelter. The facility had to purchase a kiddie pool to keep the pig cool.

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  Toms River officials said the animals were in good condition when they were picked up. They still belong to Kelly. If he chooses to sign over custody, the shelter will find them new homes.

  Kelly is currently lodged in the Ocean County Jail. He had parked in the lot designated “police personnel only.” According to police, when they approached him, he had a loaded shotgun in his lap and the German shepherd in the car with him. He had contacted an employee of the Toms River Township EMS, telling him he was going there to turn himself in.

Joseph Kelly (Photo courtesy Ocean County Jail)

  Police then went to his Egret Drive home, in which they found the animals. They also found various firearms and munitions that were left out throughout the home. The New Jersey State Police Bomb Unit and the New Jersey State Police Hazardous Materials Teams were summoned to the location to inspect what were later determined to be an inert training device and an opioid in the form of a powder.

  He was charged with various weapons offenses, possession of a controlled dangerous substance, and defiant trespassing.