Who Will Care for K9 International’s Confiscated Dogs?
The owner of K9 International LLC’s guard dog company testified on Thursday, rebutting Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control’s allegations that the dogs were malnourished, tick-ridden and ill when they were taken into custody.
Almost all of the 18 dogs confiscated between July and September arrived underweight, covered with ticks, and suffering from several illnesses. The owner, Augustin “Gus” Artiles, insisted that his employees take good care of the dogs, and that the dogs were “slim” because of the nature of their work.
“Our dogs are always very slim,” he said. “They are constantly moving from one fence to the other because they react to motion. It’s a very high-stress job for the dogs.”
On Wednesday, four county veterinarians testified about the various problems with the dogs. At least eight of the dogs were so thin, county veterinarians reported they could count the animals’ vertebrae and clearly see their ribs.
One dog, J’Chief, died despite constant nursing for six weeks, a victim of pneumonia complicated by the tick-borne illness Ehrlichia, vets testified.
Tiltie, so-called for the way she tilts her head, possibly got that way due to an infection, veterinarian Margaret Lindrose said. She also had a 4 1/2 inch mass on her hip, ticks between her toes and severe arthritis.
Veterinarian Lindrose, who examined 11 of the dogs, characterized what she saw as “neglect.” The county’s vets are now caring for two more of K9 International’s dogs, including the mother of five dead puppies discovered this week.
Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control is seeking custody of the animals from the Royal Palm Beach company it says failed to intervene in the dogs’ health and treatment despite ongoing inspections, citations and warnings.
Animal Cruelty Defense
If you have been charged with animal cruelty or neglect, a criminal defense lawyer is the only way to achieve any positive results from your case. In Florida, animal cruelty can be charged as anything from a civil infraction up to a felony. Those charges, as well as fines, add up when a person is charged with cruelty or neglect to a group of animals.
It is important to have a criminal defense lawyer help you protect your rights.