An Aransas Pass man convicted of 43 counts of animal cruelty is paying the price.
In May, a report of a loose dog led to 63-year-old Richard Gonzalez being arrested and charged with multiple counts of animal cruelty. On January 29, Aransas Pass officials announced he was convicted and ordered to serve 720 days of probation for each count and must pay $18,000 in restitution.
"We appreciate the hard work of Officer Dougherty, ACO Deanna Beatty, and ACO April Silva," Aransas Pass Police Department posted. The case investigation and aftercare was quite taxing on the three. Thank you, ladies."
At the time of the arrest an officer was responding to a report of a loose dog coming from the home of a man who had previous, minor animal-related violations.
Upon arriving at the home of Gonzales, the officer asked to follow up on previous issues.
Investigation of Gonzales’ property revealed 42 dogs living in deplorable conditions, including soiled kennels, multiple dogs in undersized kennels, moldy food, and dirty or little to no water, APPD said.
“It was something that had be sternly and quickly addressed. There’s no telling how long these poor pooches have been having to endure that type of a lifestyle,” APPD Chief Eric Blanchard told KRIS 6 News.
He said conditions were only worse when officers entered Gonzales’ home.
“There were more kennels inside, fecal-soiled flooring and stuff like that. It was just really bad shape and we found at least one dog on top of the 42 that was, I believe, inside the house,” Blanchard described. “He’s covered in mange, has open sores.”
Police also say other dogs were not being provided treatment for obvious medical conditions.
The cost of taking care of all the seized animals, including veterinary services, has totaled $25,858.37. If you want to help these animals out, you can donate by reaching out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Aransas Pass Officials remind citizens to call animal control if they notice any suspicious treatment of animals.