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Local pet store owner Johnson Le faces felony charges of animal cruelty. Randy Lawrence with the San Diego Humane Society discusses will happen to the more than 100 animals that were seized from his home and three businesses. NBC 7s Tony Shin reports.
Fifty-seven puppies, several rabbits, birds, a turtle and a seven-foot-long python were among the animals rescued in a recent raid by the San Diego Humane Society.
On Tuesday, the man accused of abusing 117 animals at three pet stores around the county was arrested, according to the Humane Society and SPCA's law enforcement arm.
Johnson Le, 28, faces four felony charges of animal abuse, 10 misdemeanor counts of animal abuse and dozens of state code violations.
Click here to see a gallery of some of the pets seized in March.
The two agencies served search warrants at the pet stores in March. They seized the animals from his parents' home where he lived and at pet stores in Clairemont, Rolando and Oceanside where he operated his business.
At the home and pet stores, authorities said the sanitation was poor and Le bred dogs under bad conditions.
Officials were tipped off to the conditions after they came across a sick dog at Nadines Puppies in Oceanisde, where Le operated his business. A woman then came forward and accused Le of selling her a sick puppy.
"That puppy actually died from parvo four days after the citizen bought it," said Randy Lawrence with the San Diego Humane Society. "So we knew we were dealing with potentially sick puppies in this case."
Investigators found that Le had a history of abuse. In 2003, the county seized more than 60 animals from him. In 2004 he was conficted on charges of mistreatment.
"In this case, we're dealing with a gentleman we believe was to make money and the condition and welfare of the animals was not his primary focus," Lawrence said.
All of the animals must remain in the Humane Society’s care until further court action. Le is scheduled for trial in August.
After the trial, the Humane Society hopes to put the animals up for adoption.
“Typically, animals that come from conditions like these need a lot of supportive medical and behavioral care,” said Dr. Gary Weitzman, president and CEO of the San Diego Humane Society. “These animals have received exemplary care from our medical and behavioral staff, and will continue to receive that high level of care until they are adopted."
The animals will be available for adoption Saturday, July 14, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the San Diego Humane Society and SPCA, Gaines Campus.