Photo courtesy of Riverside County Animal Services

38 Dogs Found Abandoned in Riverside Home: Arrest Warrant Issued for Couple

By Leah_Pet on Jul. 29, 2016

Photo courtesy of Riverside County Animal ServicesPhoto courtesy of Riverside County Animal Services

It’s a scene no animal control officer wants to encounter: an apparently abandoned house, the smell of decay and feces filling the air and unbelievably emaciated pets wandering the grounds unattended. Unfortunately for eight animal cruelty investigators in California, that’s exactly what they walked into on July 18—a grisly scene at a home in Riverside County.

Thirty-eight pit bulls were found on the three-acre property, mostly inside the home. Eleven dogs were found dead and 28 others were rescued—all thirsty and malnourished with visibly protruding ribcages. “It was like ‘Silence of the Lambs;’ it looked like that inside the property,” said John Welsh of Riverside County Animal Services. “We were stepping over the carcass of a pit bull and it was just horrible. Animals should not be treated in that manner. This is a disgrace.”

Some of the dogs were found locked in kennels with food and water dishes long empty. Others were picking their way through the litter-strewn home. Many were too weak to walk and had to be carried out. There were unconfirmed indications that the location may have been used for breeding pit bulls, but animal control has no record of a kennel permit for the location, nor had they received any prior complaints. Neighbors stated that they haven’t seen any people in the home for at least a week.

The house first came to the attention of authorities on Tuesday, July 17 when an anonymous tip reported a foul stench coming from the trash-strewn property. Officer Luna attempted to make contact with anybody inside the property, but was not allowed onto it without a search warrant. He posted an official notice for the property owner to contact the Riverside County Animal Services.

Officer Luna went back to the home the next day after the homeowners failed to contact him. He drove towards the back of the property and was astonished at what he found. Several abandoned vehicles were in the yard, along with tires, scrap piles and more. He saw several pit bulls in kennels, some appearing emaciated and in need of attention. Officer Luna deemed these circumstances exigent, giving him the authority to enter the property to help the animals. After finding additional kennels on the property, he realized he would need backup.

The house was in complete disarray. Donning masks because of the smell, they were greeted by wagging tails and friendly dogs. Those who could still walk approached the officers without fear. One officer, Will Luna, immediately shared water from his own water bottle with a ravenously dehydrated dog. The home was a rental property and the dog’s owners were nowhere to be found. It’s unclear if they had been living there recently.

For most of the dogs who survived the ordeal, things began looking up once they were rescued. Now in protective custody, they are under care of veterinarians at Riverside County Animal Services. Some had to be given IVs to combat their severe dehydration. One nine-year-old dog rescued did not survive. Suffering from thirst, the dog had been carried into the San Jacinto shelter but was unresponsive to treatment. Veterinarian Dr. Sara Strongin said he crashed fast, most likely due to organ failure. The other dogs, ranging in ages from eight months old to 10 years (with most being between three and four years old) are responding well and are even beginning to put on weight. Once the dogs’ health improves, it’s anticipated that they will be available for fostering and adoption.

Lt. Chris Mayer with the Riverside County Department of Animal Services said it was one of the worst cases of animal neglect he had seen in his 15-year career with the department. Authorities said the suspects who kept the dogs could face either misdemeanor or felony cruelty charges depending on the circumstances. Currently they are seeking arrest warrants for two people connected to the case. One for Carl Dixon, 48, who is said to be the owner of the dogs. The other is for Carl’s wife, Kim Delagos. However, unrelated to the case, Carl is currently being held without bail in the Central Jail in Los Angeles for drug trafficking charges. At the time of this writing his wife has not yet been found.

If you'd like to help, The Riverside County Animal Services and The Animal Solution Konnection, or ASK Foundation, are currently accepting donations. The ASK Foundation works directly with assisting programs directly associated with programs that help animals in the shelter directly.

If you'd like to help other animals in need, visit the Petco Foundation website

3 Comments
Comments
by Vanessa Birman
‎07-30-2016 09:42 AM

I can't believe that this would even be considered as possibly a misdemeanor. This is 38 felonies easily! Sickos should never see the light of day or be able to have any animal in their posession again!

I can't believe that this would even be considered as possibly a misdemeanor. This is 38 felonies easily! Sickos should never see the light of day or be able to have any animal in their posession again!

Posted on Jul. 30, 2016
by Tammyssswwwweee
‎08-31-2016 02:32 PM

We really dont know what happened..tho it is sad.

Since the husband is in jail for drug trafficking..maybe the drugs got confiscated..and who they were from..thats kinda scary when the wife is missing..possible should be searching for her..this could be way worse, and maybe she didnt leave the dogs..maybe she was taken?..

 

 

We really dont know what happened..tho it is sad.

Since the husband is in jail for drug trafficking..maybe the drugs got confiscated..and who they were from..thats kinda scary when the wife is missing..possible should be searching for her..this could be way worse, and maybe she didnt leave the dogs..maybe she was taken?..

 

 

Posted on Aug. 31, 2016
by BrigitteMartine
‎03-02-2017 02:46 AM

This story touched my heart. I cannot even begin to imagine what those poor dogs had to endure as well as the animal officers who rescued them. I hope the two dirt bags responsible are never allowed to have an animal again. I wish them karma for all the suffering they have caused. I made a donation to the ASK Foundation to assist with animal care at the Riverside Foundation. Great job on their part! 💗

This story touched my heart. I cannot even begin to imagine what those poor dogs had to endure as well as the animal officers who rescued them. I hope the two dirt bags responsible are never allowed to have an animal again. I wish them karma for all the suffering they have caused. I made a donation to the ASK Foundation to assist with animal care at the Riverside Foundation. Great job on their part! 💗

Posted on Mar. 2, 2017
About the Author
  • As a child Leah used to write in her journal about how she’d like to be an animal when she grew up. As luck would have it, she grew up to be a writer who writes about animals instead. She has worked in veterinarian clinics, had pets of all types and has fostered many cats and dogs. Currently she lives with two cats named Irma and Yuyu and feeds a bevvy of semi-feral neighborhood cats.
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