More than 300 Animals, Over 200 Dead, Found
A 66-year-old man, Elisao Gilbert Jimenez, was booked into Southwest Detention Center in French Valley on animal cruelty charges after investigator discovered a nightmare on his property Friday. Over 300 animals, dogs and cats were found, more than 200 of them dead.
When investigators answering a vicious dog call entered the rural Temecula, CA property at 39000 block of Liefer Road, they saw dozens of dogs. About three dozen dogs were found in makeshift kennels outside a trailer. The dogs, mostly Rottweilers and chows, some dead and some still surviving. The living dogs appeared to have lived off eating the carcases of their dead companions.
Shortly after arriving at the scene, animal control officers watched in horror as a pack of dogs killed one of their own, ripping it apart, she said.
The conditions these animals lived in were horrific says Willa Bagwell, Executive Director, State Humane Officer. “It is one of the worse cases of abuse that I have witnessed in 21 years”. I have never been in a place where cannibalism was present.
Another three dozen plus dogs were found inside a trailer and more than two dozen wild and feral cats were found locked in a bathroom and bedroom.
Then came the most gruesome discovery of the day, more than 200 dead animal found inside black plastic bags stacked in sheds and barrels.
Bagwell said she did not know how the 200 dogs and cats died. Some were puppies and kittens, others were full grown, she said. She did note there was no pet food to be found except for a small bowl of cat food in a bathroom in the mobile home.
Sadly, because most all of the animals were sick, malnourished or too wild and aggressive, they were euthanized. Only one dog with her 9 puppies were able to be saved.
“They were just wild animals. They had never been touched,” Bagwell said. “I’ve never seen this many animals and animals this feral.”
Jimenez, who also live in a trailer on the property, appeared to have just let the animals breed and roam the property rather than turn them over to animal control because he worried about them being killed. The animals that died he just bagged and stored rather than burying them because he didn’t own the property. The whole situation got seriously out of hand.
Many of the neighbors were completely surprised, they say they never saw or heard anything. They thought he owned just a couple of dogs in the fenced-in property. Other neighbors told of complaints they had filed because of barking and roaming dogs.
This horrid situation is very much that of a classic hoarder. They think they are doing the best for the animals and ignore the disaster they are creating, dead and dying dogs and cats, malnourished and living on the carcasses of the dead companions. It’s sad and it’s sick and Jimenez needs some serious help.
When investigators came onto the property, Bagwell said that Jimenez seemed actually relieved.
“He was very calm,” Bagwell said “He was like, OK, it’s over.”
It’s amazing that the neighbors didn’t know what was going on but often in very rural areas, this is the case and it’s custom made for something like this. Knee-jerk response is to say just lock this guy up and throw away the key and yes, he does need to be locked up but some place that he can be treated. Due to his sickness, the lives of over 300 dogs and cats were lost. Just beyond sad…..
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