Los Angeles, CA (6/6/19) — A 26-year-old man has been charged with 52 criminal counts for selling puppies that became very ill soon after they were sold to more than two dozen victims, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced today. The charges are the result of an investigation by Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles (spcaLA).
Gustavo Gonzalez (dob 4/1/93) of Downey faces 28 felony counts of cruelty to an animal, one felony count each of first-degree residential burglary and grand theft as well as 22 misdemeanor counts of petty theft.
The case is being tried by Deputy District Attorneys Kimberly Abourezk, Animal Cruelty Coordinator, and Duke Chau of the Consumer Protection Division.
Arraignment is scheduled on June 10 in Department 30 of the Foltz Criminal Justice Center. Case BA478369 was filed for warrant on June 5.
The criminal complaint charges Gonzalez with selling 28 sick puppies to 25 families throughout Southern California from February 2018 to April 2019. Most of the puppies died after the victims brought them to their homes, the prosecutors said.
Bail is set at $740,000. If convicted as charged, the defendant faces a possible maximum sentence of 36 years in custody.
Anyone who believes they may have been a victim is encouraged to call the Los Angeles County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs at (800) 593-8222.
spcaLA is the only private animal welfare organization in Los Angeles that is also Law Enforcement. spcaLA Humane Officers hold the same powers of Peace Officers in the state of California when investigating animal cruelty. spcaLA is a non-profit agency that relies on donations for its programs and services, including animal cruelty investigations. To donate, please visit spcaLA.com or call 323-730-5300 x3233.
The case remains under investigation by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles, DCBA, the District Attorney’s Office Bureau of Investigation and the Downey Police Department.