318 Dead Cats, Dogs Removed From Home

Tuesday, Jan 27, 2009  |  Updated 1:43 PM EDT
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318 Dead Cats, Dogs Removed From Home

North County Times/Don Boomer

Willa Bagwell, executive director of the Animal Friends of the Valleys, get a little affection from a 10-year-old dog named "Johnny Otis" who was one of the dogs recovered from a Temecula, Calif., home on Friday.

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More than 100 feral cats and dogs were euthanized after authorities found them living among the remains of hundreds of other dead animals that had been dumped in trash bags at a man's rented property.

One local animal control official told the North County Times it is the worst case she has seen in her 21-year career.

"It was gruesome," said Willa Bagwell, executive director of Animal Friends of the Valleys. "It was the most disgusting thing I've seen."

Temecula police on Friday arrested Elisao Gilbert Jimenez, 67, on suspicion of animal cruelty after officers responded to a call that two vicious dogs were running loose at his address.

Authorities learned of the situation after responding to a call from a neighbor who reported there were two vicious dogs running loose on the property on Liefer Road, Bagwell told the paper.  What they found was very disturbing.

"You couldn't see the floor, it was covered in urine and feces," she said of the mobile home. "The animals were completely wild, just vicious."

Authorities say Jimenez had let animals breed and roam freely on his property and they had taken over his mobile home. Officers even found animals hiding in cupboards.

When animal control officers arrived, packs of dogs were attacking each other and killing one of their own. About 70 dogs circled officers and threatened to attack, forcing authorities to kill them.

Nine puppies and one dog were saved but authorities had to remove the bodies of 318 cats and dogs.

Animal control officers had to go through 100 bags of feces, as police officers had asked them to make sure no human body parts were on the property, Bagwell told the paper.

At times, animal control officers were gagging, and their eyes burning, because of the condition of the mobile home, which the dogs had access to, she said. The dogs and cats were kept in separate kennels.

For the full story read the North County Times article "200 Animals Found Dead on Property."

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