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73 dogs sezied from "inhumane" conditions at 3 properties in Turlock, police say

73 dogs rescued in Turlock raid are considered evidence
73 dogs rescued in Turlock raid are considered evidence 02:32

TURLOCK — A suspect is sought after 73 dogs were seized across three properties in the city of Turlock last week, authorities said Tuesday.

The Turlock Police Department said search warrants were served on March 28 at three homes on South First Street after reports of potential dogfighting and animal cruelty.

Jorge Ayala, 46 Turlock Police

Turlock police said Jorge Ayala, 46, was identified as a suspect over the course of the investigation, however, his whereabouts are unknown.

The investigation began in early March when Turlock Animal Services expressed concerns following reports out of the area.

On the day the search warrants were served, detectives discovered the dogs were living in "deplorable and inhumane" conditions, the police department said.

Some of the dogs were found tethered to stationary objects in the properties' yards, which is illegal in California. It was a delivery driver who called animal services when they saw a puppy tethered outside one of the homes. They said something didn't seem right about the situation.

Dozens of crates were found stacked on top of each other, some with up to six puppies inside with no access to food, water, or a place to use the bathroom.

A number of dogs were also found to be pregnant.

"You have multiple dogs and multiple crates that are meant for a single, small-size dog," said Turlock police spokesperson Dominique Sanchez. "So, as you can imagine, the smell, the filth was just unbelievable. No picture or video can do it justice of how just inhumane this house was."

Turlock police said all 73 dogs were pitbull mixes. They are being treated for any injuries or diseases before being turned over to area shelters.

This has been an ongoing issue in recent weeks in Stanislaus County. More than 100 dogs were seized from two Ceres homes in March.

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