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Man pleads guilty to animal neglect

SAN DIEGO — Charles Mendoza has pleaded guilty to a felony charge of PC 597(b) animal neglect for abandoning more than 30 animals at Dave’s Family Feed Store in Lemon Grove in August.

The San Diego Humane Society and SPCA’s Humane Law Enforcement served a search warrant at the Feed Store after receiving complaints that the store had allegedly closed for business and several animals were left inside. More than 30 animals were seized including, 16 birds, 11 chickens, rodents, reptiles and a python snake.

Mendoza served one month in jail, has been ordered to pay restitution to the San Diego Humane Society and cannot own an animal for 10 years.

“The seized animals have all found new homes or were transferred to other rescue groups for care. Instances of gross animal neglect, like this one, should never be overlooked or go unpunished,” said Dr. Gary Weitzman, president and CEO of the San Diego Humane Society and SPCA. “That’s why our Humane Officers are in the field seven days a week responding to claims of animal cruelty. The punishment for crimes against animals has become more appropriate in the past year. This is a step in the right direction, but we still have a long way to go.”

“When serving the search warrant, we found half a dozen dead animals. The other animals were housed in unhealthy conditions and often left without water,” said Randy Lawrence, director of Humane Law Enforcement at the San Diego Humane Society and SPCA. “Our Humane Officers conducted an investigation and filed charges. There is still an outstanding arrest warrant for another involved suspect.”

If you have information about any crime against animals, please contact the San Diego Humane Society and SPCA’s Humane Law Enforcement at (619) 243-3466. Reports are kept confidential. For more information, visit HERE.