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Arrest made in Mead Valley felony animal cruelty case

March 29, 2023

Animal Services officers arrested without incident a man in Mead Valley Tuesday (Mar. 28) in connection with the neglect of a puppy that succumbed to injuries caused by another dog in January. Lorenzo Angelo Gutierrez was charged with two counts of felony animal cruelty and booked into Robert Presley Detention Center.  Gloria Esther Lopez is also being charged with two counts of felony animal cruelty, but she was not arrested.

The arrest occurred after a three months-long animal cruelty investigation prompted by a Good Samaritan who informed Animal Services in December about multiple emaciated dogs having no food or water in the 21400 block of Salter Rd., in Mead Valley.

Animal Services was unable to pursue charges until January 20, when substantial evidence was provided, including a puppy who was attacked by other dogs and was left multiple days without care and a second dog that was hit by a vehicle, also left without care for over six weeks.  Necropsy lab results helped solidify Animal Services’ case.

“We are committed to pursuing animal cruelty cases whenever and wherever they occur in Riverside County,” Animal Services Director Erin Gettis said. “Pet owners have an obligation to provide safe and healthy environments for the animals in their care.”

Failing to provide veterinary care to an injured animal that results in death is a felony in California.

The initial phase of the investigation found that the owner had more than the legal limit of dogs, prompting Animal Services to issue a Notice of Violation for failing to have a kennel permit. Anyone caring for more than four dogs in unincorporated Riverside County must have a proper kennel license. Officers returned to the property Feb. 1 where the man relinquished ownership of six dogs, including three 4-month-olds.

Nine additional dogs were surrendered at the property at the time of Gutierrez’ arrest.

“We are grateful to the individual who alerted us to this case and encourage all residents to reach out to Animal Services with concerns about the welfare and neglect of animals in Riverside County,” said Josh Sisler, Animal Services Commander.

To view the arrest of the suspect, please click here: