Man Pleads Guilty to Abandoning 30+ Animals at Out-of-Business Pet Store

The store had been permanently shut down when investigators found the animals inside

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A man accused of abandoning more than 30 animals – including a python snake – at an out-of-business pet store in Lemon Grove has pleaded guilty to charges of animal neglect and cruelty.

    The San Diego Humane Society announced Friday that Charles Mendoza pleaded guilty to felony animal neglect.

    In August, Mendoza allegedly abandoned more than 30 animals at Dave’s Family Feed Store.

    A python snake, several reptiles, 16 birds, 11 chickens and some rodents were found inside the shop after the SPCA and San Diego Humane Society received complaints that the store had allegedly permanently closed for business and live animals were left inside.

    Six animals died inside the store. The SPCA’s law enforcement agency said the other abandoned animals were housed in unhealthy conditions, left behind without water.

    The San Diego Humane Society helped lead the animal cruelty investigation.

    According to investigators, Mendoza served one month in jail and has been ordered to pay restitution to the San Diego Humane Society.

    He’s also not permitted to own an animal for 10 years.

    Investigators say there is still an outstanding arrest warrant for another suspect allegedly involved in this animal neglect case.

    Anyone with information on this case or any other crimes against animals is asked to contact
    the San Diego Humane Society and SPCA’s Humane Law Enforcement at (619) 243-3466.

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