Westminster PD Animal Control officers seized 78 bulldogs from a Westminster home on Nov. 6 following a citizen complaint about numerous dogs fighting there.
WPD officers responded to the call at 7:30 p.m. on the 9000 block of Kern Street. After an investigation – in which they found the residence in extremely poor condition because of the number of dogs – they suspected the residents were breeding bulldogs, according to an agency press release.
Many of the dogs were found to be in poor health and in serious need of medical attention. They are now being housed and treated at Westminster Adoption Group Services (WAGS), which is the contract shelter service for the cities of Westminster and Stanton, which the WPD Animal Control serves.
“As for the suspect(s) in this case, WPD Animal Control officers are conducting an investigation in collaboration with WAGS veterinarian staff,” said Commander Cameron Knauerhaze in a statement. “This is a tedious process, each dog must be treated and evaluated. These results, along with evidence collected from the suspect’s home and other investigative findings, will be compiled and presented to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office for potential criminal filing. This function of due process takes time due to the number of the animals and magnitude of resources involved. The suspect could face felony and misdemeanor charges.”
A seizure notice was served to the dogs’ owner – an adult male whose name has not been released – on Nov. 8 and a hearing is now pending. According to the press release, these hearings are typically completed within 10 days.
If the dogs are permanently seized by the city, WAGS will start an adoption procedure. The group will be keeping the community updated on the dogs’ status via social media. The WPD, which is not involved in the adoption proceedings, requests that the community be patient with the process.
“The Westminster Police Department is committed to the protection of life and property,” said Knauerhaze, “and in this case, the welfare of animals in our community.”
Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact the Westminster Police Department at 714-898-3315. Anonymous tips can also be given to Orange County Crime Stoppers by calling 1-855-TIP-OCCS, or by logging on to OCcrimestoppers.org