***UPDATE: 1/29/2020 @ 5:50 pm ***
Great news out of San Patricio County Court, today! We learned that Mr. Gonzales was convicted on all 43 counts of animal cruelty. He received 720 days of probation per each count. Additionally, he was ordered to pay restitution in an amount of just over $18K. Win-win!
We appreciate the hard work of Officer Dougherty, ACO Deanna Beatty, and ACO April Silva. The case investigation and aftercare was quite taxing on the three. Thank you, ladies.
We also appreciate the commitment and hard work by our San Patricio County Attorney, Tamara Cochran, and her office. They pushed hard to seek and obtain the restitution which was very impacting on the City and our ACO budgetary resources. Thank you, San Patricio CA!!
Again, we want to remind pet owners to be responsible and provide reasonable and required care and conditions for their animals. If you or someone you know, is becoming overwhelmed in providing proper care, please reach out to our animal control officers for assistance. Our goal is to help you be a responsible pet owner or provide you with resources in that direction. The last thing we want is for you or innocent animals to end up in the same positions as Mr. Gonzales and his animals. Animal control can be reached by calling 361-758-5224 or by messaging them online.
*** END OF UPDATE ***
***UPDATE: 5/31/2019 @ 4:15 pm ***
This afternoon, the Aransas Pass Municipal Court awarded all the seized dogs to the City of Aransas Pass. Mr. Gonzales has an appeals process he can still file if he chooses to do so.
Each surviving dog continues to remain in animal control custody or outsourced boarding after having been medically screened. Here are the results from their checkup:
Veterinary Care Services Included:
- Health Exam
- Vaccinations – rabies, distemper, parvo, bordetella
- Tests – intestinal parasites, heartworm, blood-borne diseases, parvo
- Flea Medication
- Nail Trim
- Heartworm – 35 tested; 32 positive; 3 negative
- Hookworms – 42 tested; 42 positive
- Whipworms – 42 tested; 42 positive
- Parvo – 3 tested; 3 positive
- Euthanasia – 1 due to severe dehydration, emaciation, & overall poor condition (Medical recommendation)
* 8 not tested for heartworms due to age; 1 not tested for hookworms/whipworms due to euthanasia.
Body Condition Scoring (1-5 where 1=Bad shape and 5=Great shape):
- Score 2 – 8
- Sore 3 – 31
* 3 dogs did not have a BCS due to parvo; 1 did not have BCS due to euthanasia.
Expense Paid by City (Grant Funds):
- Initial Vet Services – $10,393.49
- Boarding Services – $10,420.00
- Emergency Medical Services – $2,131.67
- Spay/Neuter Costs – $2,913.21
- TOTAL EXPENSES: $25,858.37
**Fees do not include daily incurred costs.
If you’d like to donate or contribute to helping with this operation or on future endeavors related to our animal control services, please email [email protected]. We can provide you with instructions on how to go about doing so. Thank you!
*** END OF UPDATE ***
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
APPD Animal Control began an investigation into Richard Gonzales AGE 63 approximately a year ago after receiving complaints of his dogs entering neighboring properties and causing issues with the neighbors.
Animal control investigated and found several minor animal-related violations. The violations were addressed by educating Gonzales on the laws and good animal care practices, and Gonzales agreed to correct the issues under certain terms for which he ultimately failed to follow through on. However, this situation recently resurfaced again when one of Gonzales’ dogs got out of his yard.
Animal control returned to Gonzales’ residence only to address the dog at large violation. Officer Jessica Dougherty asked to follow up on the issues from the year prior. It was at that time animal control officers found the issue had severely deteriorated. During that inspection, Gonzales had 42 dogs, most of which were living in deplorable conditions. These conditions include soiled kennels, multiple dogs in undersized kennels, moldy food, dirty and non-consumable water or no water at all. Some of the dogs were also obviously suffering from medical conditions for which adequate care is not being provided. As a result, Ofc. Dougherty elevated the matter to her supervisor.
Ofc. Dougherty, her supervisor, and the San Patricio County Attorney Tamara Cochran visited about the case and reviewed the evidence. At the direction of the prosecutor, Ofc. Dougherty obtained a seizure warrant and returned to Gonzales’ residence today and seized 42 dogs. She also served the 42 arrest warrants on Gonzales which were issued for Cruelty to Non-Livestock Animals. While serving the warrants this morning, another dog was found to be in bad shape bringing the total number to 43 total dogs seized.
Our job does not stop here. We will now provide veterinary care including, but not limited to, the required Rabies vaccinations, testing for heartworms and parasites, and address any other medical conditions which may require treatment. We will then seek to have the animals forfeited to the City of Aransas Pass so we can adopt them out to families that will provide better care than what they have been subjected to. Here’s a breakdown of the entire ensuing processes:
- Each dog will be housed in a kennel sufficiently sized for the animal;
- We’ve coordinated with a local vet to have each dog medically evaluated and treated for any issues it may be suffering from;
- We’ve teamed up with a professional dog handler/trainer to assist with boarding any of the dogs we are unable to house locally until court proceedings can be completed;
- A forfeiture proceeding is planned to have the dogs forfeited to the City;
- Gonzales may appeal the forfeiture proceedings, however, if he doesn’t, the dogs will be awarded to the City;
- If awarded, animal Control staff will work with adoption groups to find animal-friendly forever homes for each dog.
We want to remind pet owners to be responsible and provide reasonable and required care and conditions for their animals. If you or someone you know, is becoming overwhelmed in providing proper care, please reach out to our animal control officers for assistance. Our goal is to help you be a responsible pet owner or provide you with resources in that direction. The last thing we want is for you or innocent animals to end up in the same positions as Mr. Gonzales and his animals. Animal control can be reached by calling 361-758-5224 or by messaging them online.
Please direct all media inquiries to Chief Eric Blanchard at 361-758-5224 or by emailing [email protected] Please be patient; all resources are consumed due to the scale of this operation.