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Dozens of Crated Dogs Abandoned at Park

Police have honed it on a trio of suspects believed to have dumped nearly 30 dogs in two crates at a park without food and water. Animal Care will need the public's help.

Investigators and animal care workers are asking for the public’s help after 29 dogs were abandoned in crates at a Laguna Hills park.

“Two women and a man dumped (29) small dogs in two crates at a park,” said Orange County Sheriff’s Department Lt. Gary Strachan.

Earlier this week, witnesses watched the trio unload the dogs at San Remo Park in Laguna Hills. The witnesses wrote down the license plate of the truck that the three drove off in, leading investigators to a set of suspects, but no arrests have been made yet, Strachan said. If arrested, the suspects could face multiple counts of animal cruelty.

“There was no water and no food in the cages,” said Ryan Drabek director of OC Animal Care. “We are very fortunate that someone saw this and were quick to call and we were able to get out there so quickly.”

A mixture of small dogs such as Lhasa Apso and Chihuahua-mixes ranging from puppies to adults, the dogs were healthy, but showed signs of neglect – matted hair and long nails, and they are obviously scared, said Drabek.

All the dogs have been evaluated by veterinarians and will soon undergo temperament testing to determine their suitability for adoption. The sudden influx of 29 dogs places a significant burden on the shelter especially because the dogs will not be available for adoption until after the investigation is completed Drabek said.

“I can’t remember the last time we had such a large number of animals dumped in a park. This is very odd and unusual,” Drabek said.

“We try to keep them together to lower the stress level,” he added.

Additionally, volunteers will work with the dogs to keep them socialized and accustomed to people throughout the course of the investigation.

Anyone with information about the incident can call the Orange County Sheriff’s Department tip line at 855-847-6227. Anyone wishing to help with the care and adoption of the dogs can call OC Animal Care at 949-249-5160.

Linda Hilf May 31, 2012 at 04:30 AM
This subject is about animal abuse. Not child molesters . another terrible subject. These people should also be thrown into jail for the rest of their lives. And actually, thats too good for them .....
KC May 31, 2012 at 02:06 PM
The problem is that too many people are yelling animal cruelty when there is none, just a different lifestyle no better or worse for the animals, just different. The example Tammy gave of the dog shot in the head IS a REAL example of animal cruelty. There are groups, like HSUS, that confuse the issue because they believe all ownership is abuse and they lie to the public to gain donations through a message that they want to protect animals....totally false. HSUS is behind people being charged with animal cruelty because of an old dog with some bad teeth, they are behind laws to make it more difficult for anyone to own an animal including dogs. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XTrhQd9GHlE
Karen McLean Lanfranca May 31, 2012 at 04:16 PM
Of course they put them there so someone would find them, before they were reported and the dog's were confiscated by animal control. Not to mention a big ass fine plus possible jail time. Duh. Toys in the attic ann......
April Josephson July 26, 2012 at 08:56 PM
Thought I'd update everyone on this situation. I was at the shelter yesterday and watched as www.ahome4everrescue.org rescued the last of these dogs, with the exception of a couple of moms with puppies. There were a total of 33 dogs between those abandoned in the park and the rest of the hoarder's dogs that were confiscated. Four were pregnant. Two of the moms and pups went to another local shelter for adoption. There are five very cute puppies at OC with two protective moms. Other than that, the public has been great in getting these dogs out of the shelter!
Sarah de Crescenzo July 26, 2012 at 09:25 PM
@April: Thanks for sharing! That's great news!

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