Los Angeles, CA — Armando Viramontes, Jr. (03-28-73) pleaded no contest today on two misdemeanor counts of Penal Code Section 597Z(a), sale of dogs under eight (8) weeks of age and on two misdemeanor counts of Penal Code Section 597.4(a)(2), selling live animals in a public place. The plea took place in the Los Angeles Superior Court in Bellflower, Department 6 with the Honorable Judge Deborah L. Sanchez presiding. Viramontes pled open to the court and entered into a one-year diversion program involving the completion of 24 animal cruelty classes and a court order to not own additional dogs. A restitution hearing is scheduled for February 3, 2017. The conviction of Viramontes is the result of an undercover sting by the Animal Cruelty Investigations division of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles (spcaLA).
On December 15, 2015, spcaLA received an Animal Cruelty Tip from a consumer who had purchased a puppy on December 12, 2015 from Viramontes through a CraigsList ad. She paid $250 for a Labrador/Shepherd puppy sold from the back of Viramontes’ car in a parking lot. Two days later, the puppy, weighing only 17 ounces and approximately 2-3 weeks of age, was lethargic and unresponsive. The puppy went into distress and required life-saving medical intervention.
Upon investigation it was discovered that Viramontes was attempting to sell another underage puppy and possessed no license to sell animals. It is against the law in California to sell puppies under 8 weeks of age.
“Around the holidays, you may be looking to adopt a puppy, but purchasing animals from the trunk of a car in a parking lot is a bad idea,” said Madeline Bernstein, President spcaLA. “The puppies are often underage and sickly. Plus, why would you support an unscrupulous backyard breeder who cares more about money than the health and well-being of an animal? Please, adopt from a spca or humane society or a shelter.”
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 x233.
For more information, please contact Ana Bustilloz at 323-730-5300 x252, cell 323-707-1271 or abustilloz@spcaLA.com.
Since 1877, spcaLA has been the premiere independent, nonprofit animal welfare organization serving Southern California. There is no national SPCA, parent organization, or umbrella group that provides financial support to spcaLA. Donations run programs and services including Cruelty Investigation, Disaster Animal Response Team, Humane Education, and a variety of shelter services.