BALDWIN PARK — County officials Thursday seized 15 bulldogs found housed in what they described as “deplorable conditions” inside a Baldwin Park garage, authorities said.
The animals, primarily English bulldogs along with several other mixed-breed bulldogs, were found stored in wire cages inside the garage of the home in the 3300 block of Frazier Street, County of Los Angeles Department of Animal Care and Control Deputy Director Aaron Reyes said.
““We received a tip that there were multiple dogs inside of a single family home in Baldwin Park,” Reyes said.
DACC officers went to investigate and discovered, “Fifteen dogs inside the garage, being held in wire cages, in various states of ill health,” Reyes said. “We had them examined. Any and all ailments are being identified and treated.”
The dogs seized Thursday ranged from small puppies to adults, including two pregnant females, Reyes said. “It’s clearly a breeding operation,” he said.
A woman at the home Friday said she was unfamiliar with the situation and declined to comment further.
The garage is nestled behind a single story home, which had its front yard enclosed by a metal fence.
“The conditions were deplorable,” Reyes said, adding that the officers could smell animal waste before opening the garage.
The home is linked in public records to one of the proprietors of “Ochoa’s Bulldogs,” which advertises online as an English Bulldog Breeder.
According to a Facebook page for the organization, the proprietors, “have been committed to bulldogs and raising only the best of the best for our clients, friends and families.”
But Reyes said the home was not a licensed or legitimate dog breeder.
The owner was questioned but not arrested, officials said.
“Our intent is to present it to the (Los Angeles County) District Attorney’s Office as early as next week for consideration of criminal prosecution,” Reyes said. Officials will seek misdemeanor charges of animal cruelty and neglect.
“One of the tragic things about backyard breeders is the manner in which they house and keep their animals. It is often times very inhumane and their primary goals are financially driven,” Reyes said. “These animals do need care and do need to be socialized and exercised.”
Once legal proceedings are complete, officials hope to be able to adopt the dogs to new homes, Reyes said. But it was unclear when that may be possible.
“We’re happy to say they’re a very well-mannered bunch, just unfortunately, a neglected bunch,” Reyes said.
Neighbor Maria Cardona said she was “very surprised” when DACC officials arrived at the home Thursday and removed more than a dozen dogs.
The neighbor said she had no idea there were so many animals at the home, adding that she never saw more than two dogs in the yard and never heard excessive barking.
“They’re very good neighbors,” she said.
Registered, purebred English bulldogs can sell for $2,000 to $3,000, Reyes said.
When potential dog buyers encounter an offer for an animal at an extreme discount or are told to meet a breeder at another location, “the warning flags should be going up that this could be a non-reputable, backyard breeder,” he said.
Anyone with information relevant to the investigation, or anyone who believed they’ve purchased a dog from alleged backyard breeding operation is asked to contact DACC Sgt. Luis Villegas at 626-430-2362, or by email at email@example.com.
Reyes added that the DACC has no intention of separating any of the dogs that may have been purchased from the alleged illicit breeder from suitable homes.
PHOTOS courtesy of the County of Los Angeles Department of Animal Care and Control