A 34-year-old man allegedly sold sick puppies to excited new owners days before they died at their new homes.Jian Karlos Ortiz Mendez has been arrested and charged with animal cruelty after police found 11 dead puppies at his kennel in Brooksville, Florida. Police also believe he sold several ‘very sick’ puppies who then died within a week of being with their new owners. Mendez, who was taken into custody yesterday by the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office, faces 11 counts of aggravated animal cruelty and one misdemeanor count of animal neglect, stemming from a lack of water to kenneled dogs .
Police say they began investigating Golden Kennel following reports of ‘sick puppies being housed at, and sold from, the kennel’. During the investigation an animal welfare officer learned that several puppies had died of a disease called canine parvovirus, or parvo, within days of being sold from Mendez’s kennel.
Parvo is a highly contagious virus that affects a dog’s gastrointestinal tract. It can affect all dogs , but unvaccinated dogs and puppies younger than four months are the most at risk.
When an officer went to investigate the facility Mendez allegedly refused to allow full access to the puppies at the property.
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While speaking with Mendez, the officer said they observed a ‘very sick puppy’ on the floor, and said Mendez told her his veterinarian ‘was aware’.
While executing a search warrant, the animal enforcement officer found 11 dead puppies at the kennel that were ‘improperly disposed of in garbage cans’.
The sheriff’s office rescued eight puppies from the property who have since been checked over by a vet. Each of the puppies exhibited signs consistent with parvo, investigators said.
Approximately 138 dogs were left on the property under the care of kennel staff. The sheriff’s office have ordered that no dogs or puppies may be sold or taken from the facility unless removed under the direct care of a vet.
Mendez remains in jail and is being held on a $23,000 bond.
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