By ERIKA I. RITCHIE
A man accused of leaving 30 dogs at a Laguna Hills park a week ago told investigators he was taking them from his mother, who appeared to be hoarding them, officials said.
The man, who witnesses said left two kennels stuffed with the dogs – one with 14, the other with 16 – under trees at San Remo Park on May 20, was tracked by Orange County Sheriff's Department investigators after he abandoned a Toyota truck nearby. The dogs were left under two trees. One kennel held 14 dogs; the other held 16. Dogs were stacked upon atop each other. There was no food or water in the kennels.
Investigators first tracked the truck to a Huntington Beach address but learned the man was no longer living there. They continued their efforts and on Friday located the man who was connected to the truck, said Lt. Tom Behrens, chief of police in Laguna Hills.
The man told investigators he had taken the dogs from his mother's Rancho Santa Margarita home with plans to take them to an animal shelter, but his car broke down in Laguna Hills and he unloaded the dogs there, Behrens said. He told investigators that his mother had had them for a long time and there were many dogs. According to OSCD Sheriff's Department records, there had been no calls for service to the home in question. The home is in the northern part of the city in a residential neighborhood near the 241 toll road. The man told police his car broke down in Laguna Hills and he unloaded the dogs there. It's unclear whether the man had planned to return and pick up the dogs, he added.
According to Sheriff's Department records, there had been no calls for service to the home in question. The department is submitting a report to the county District Attorney's Office to see if charges involving animal abandonment and animal cruelty can stand..." More