Saturday, May 22, 2010

James Reich / Ignacio Dulzaides - Marion, Florida

Jun 5, 2010: Over 300 seized animals won’t be returned to owner, judge rules

By Austin L. Miller

A judge has decided to award to Marion County Animal Services the legal custody of more than 300 animals seized from a man nearly two months ago.

Judge Jim McCune ruled Friday that 64-year-old Ignacio Dulzaides is unfit to properly provide for the animals and therefore will be officially turned over to animal services.

The animals -- cattle, dogs, cats, birds, cows, horses, sheep, smaller pets and reptiles among others -- are already under the supervision and care of animal services.

Once the ruling becomes official, which should take about two weeks, spokeswoman Elaine DeIorio said the animals will either be sold or be offered for adoption. The cattle, DeIorio said, will be sold, with the rest ready for adoption.

Of the lot, the spokeswoman said 10 dogs had to be euthanized because they had diseases. Officials say none of the other animals will be euthanized unless it’s deemed necessary by a staff veterinarian..." More

May 22, 2010: Hearing on 370 seized animals is again postponed

By Austin L. Miller

A hearing to decide the fate of more than 370 animals found at home that were either neglected or malnourished has been postponed until early June, according to animal officials.

The extension is the third in as many weeks, as the first hearing was slated for May 5 in front of County Judge Jim McCune.

The second hearing was rescheduled for May 21 because the attorney for the man who had hoarded the animals, James Reich, wanted more time to get additional witnesses. The new date is June 3 at 1 p.m.

Authorities have determined that Ignacio Dulzaides, owner of the property where the animals were found at 4632 N.W. 100th St., was not the owner of six dogs, four Shih Tzus and two Pomeranians.

With that in mind, the county’s animal services has decided to return those animals to their owners...." More

Apr 21, 2010: Officials: Man hoarding animals one of 'worst'

Court records show that Ignacio Dulzaides, the man at the center of an animal hoarding case that local officials say is among the worst they've ever seen, has faced prosecution for animal neglect in the past.

In October 1995, the Marion County Sheriff's Office arrested Dulzaides on 32 counts of confining animals without adequate food after numerous ratite birds were found in poor condition at his former residence, 10651 N.W. 60th Ave.

Ratite are flightless birds such as emu and ostrich.

Dulzaides was acquitted of six misdemeanor counts during a jury trial.

The State Attorney's Office dropped the remaining 27 counts.

"That was a bunch of garbage. The charges should never have been brought. He didn't do what they accused him of doing," James Reich, Dulzaides' attorney in that case, said Tuesday.

But even Reich acknowledged that the recent situation, unlike the 1995 case, stirred something inside him.

"When I got out there and I saw what I saw, I had a natural reaction that human beings that love animals have. He had too many, I think," said Reich, the owner of a horse and a dog, who visited the property after receiving a call from Dulzaides' family members.

Dulzaides was taken to The Centers for a mental health evaluation Thursday evening, but it was unclear whether he was still in that facility's care. He did not respond to phone calls placed to his residence Tuesday. Those taken to the facility under Florida's Baker Act may be held for up to 72 hours.

Were it not for a Progress Energy employee tending to a power outage last week, Dulzaides' animal-carcass-strewn property may have gone unnoticed even longer..." More

Apr 17, 2010: Hundreds of live animals removed; 340 found dead

Austin L. Miller

Marion County Animal Services has removed more than 400 live animals and discovered more than 340 dead ones at a property at 4632 N.W. 100th Street. The live and dead animals include dogs, cats, birds, reptiles, sheep, cattle and horses, said officials.

Animal Services officials are labeling the case as one of the worst hoarding situations they have ever seen.

According to Animal Services, officials responded to the property after receiving a complaint from a Progress Energy employee who was working on a power outage in the area.

When Animal Services officials responded, owner Ignacio Dulzaides, 64, would not allow them on his property.

However, because Dulzaides was licensed to sell exotic birds, Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission investigators were able to enter. When they did, they validated the report of extremely poor living conditions. Animal Services then obtained a warrant to enter Dulzaides' property and began their investigation...." More

Apr 17, 2010: Hundreds Of Dead Animals On 1 Property

Hundreds of animals have been found dead at one location in what investigators called one of the worst cases of animal hoarding ever.

Officials with Marion County Animal Services said workers removed about 750 animals, nearly half of which were dead, from a property in Reddick.

Workers said they found dogs, cats, birds, cows, horses, sheep and other smaller animals and reptiles living in deplorable conditions.

More than 340 animals were dead, some in cages right next to live animals. Workers said some were wrapped in plastic bags and placed in a freezer, while others were just in feed bags strewn around the property..." More & Video

Apr 16, 2010: Hundreds of Animals Seized From Marion Co. Property

Officials with Marion County Animal Services removed 400 living animals and another 340 dead animals from a Reddick home on Friday.

Officials say they found dogs, cats, birds, cows, horses, and sheep as well as reptiles on the property along Northwest 100th Street.

Animal Services was alerted to the issue after a complaint filed by an employee with Progress Energy who had responded to a power outage in the area.

The property's owner, 65-year-old
Ignacio Dulzaides, initially wouldn't let Animal Services officials onto his property, but eventually the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission was able to get into the home and confirmed that animals inside were being mistreated.

The Marion County Fire Rescue Hazmat team also responded to the scene and declared several buildings on the property unsafe to enter without a respirator..." More