San Diego

Prosecutors Describe ‘Disturbing' Scene at Escondido Property Where 10 Cat Carcasses Were Found

The man's arrest came a month-and-a-half after several cat carcasses and more chained live cats were found during three searches of an Escondido compound

Warning: This story contains graphic details of animal abuse.

Disturbing details of animal abuse were revealed in court Tuesday at the arraignment for a 26-year-old Escondido man facing animal cruelty charges after several cat carcasses were found on his property in May. 

San Diego Humane Society officers arrested Joshua Boyer in unincorporated San Diego County last Friday and booked him into jail on multiple felony counts of cruelty to animals. He was being held on $250,000 bail.

His arrest came a month-and-a-half after several cat carcasses and more chained live cats were found during three searches of his home, a large property on Reed Road off Bear Valley Parkway.

A GPS tracker on a 13-year-old Tabby cat named Leonard, who was reported missing by his owner on May 24, led authorities to the property and ultimately helped San Diego Humane Society officers launch their animal cruelty investigation. 

Prosecutors described the scene on Boyer's property as "quite disturbing."

Ten deceased cats were found near a locked shed on the property. Boyer was the only one with access to it and told his family to stay away from it, prosecutors said.

Inside the shed were firearms, a crossbow with arrows, bats and knives. Several of the weapons had blood or fur on them when they were discovered by investigators.

Prosecutors said some of the dead cats had their legs zip-tied to cages, some had metal BB's and bullet fragments in them, and some were burned. All but one had an empty stomach.

Boyer allegedly adopted the cats from Craigslist ads and even took two home from the San Diego Humane Society. Prosecutors said one of the cats he got from the shelter was found dead on the property.

He is facing eleven counts of cruelty to animals -- 10 counts for each of the deceased cats, and one more in connection with Leonard who is still missing and is believed to be dead. If convicted Boyer faces up to 14 years in prison.

Leonard's owner, who wished not to be identified, believes his cat was picked up in his neighborhood and driven the more than two-mile distance to the large compound where the other cats were found. 

Boyer's public defender said his client lives at the property with his parents, and that he has a wife and a child.

He is being held on $250,000 bail.

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