Eight animal control officers from Riverside County Department of Animal Control (“AC”) came upon a horrific scene of dead, dying and seriously neglected pit bulls when they visited a property in La Sierra, Calif., yesterday afternoon. ABC 7. Precipitating the visit was a call from a neighbor complaining about “a foul stench emanating from [the property],” according to Lake Elsinore-Wildomar Patch.
After entering and combing through the premises, AC found 10 dead dogs and more than 25 living dogs that were in bad shape. All were in an obvious state of extreme neglect. There was no food or water, anywhere.
The interior of the home was in shambles, filthy, and reeked of what was likely of death and decay, feces and urine. Lt. Chris Mayer said to ABC 7 that:
It’s actually one of the worst cases of animal neglect I’ve seen in my 15-year career with Animal Services.
The owner of the home was not present, as it appears he just abandoned the property. He is being investigated for illegally breeding pit bulls (breeding without a license). Riverside County requires breeders to be licensed. AC is further investigating this as an animal cruelty case. Animal abandonment is a crime, pursuant to Cal. Penal Code section 597s.
The 25+ surviving pit bulls were removed from the property and taken to be seen by veterinarians. According to Lake Elsinore-Wildomar Patch, they “will be impounded at the Western Riverside County Animal Shelter in Jurupa Valley.”
Anyone who suspects that an animal has been abandoned or an illegal breeding operation is in their neighborhood is encouraged to report it immediately to law enforcement.