Man arrested for running illegal animal clinic out of his house
Police arrest a man for running an unlicensed animal clinic out of his home. They’re calling it one of the most gruesome cases of animal cruelty in recent memory.
52-year-old Fidel Benavidez, Jr. is now facing four counts of animal cruelty and one count of operating as a vet without a license.
Police received anonymous phone calls that Benavidez was mistreating animals.
"Even the foul smell emanating from the home went beyond the property and probably reaching surrounding homes."
The smell came from surgical procedures Benavidez would perform on animals at his home, using medications that police say he stole over the years while working for a local vet.
After the surgeries the animals were left outside without any proper care.
"They were outside in very hot conditions perhaps where surgery was being performed and wounds were aggrivated because of the extreme heat."
Allegedly Benavidez would leave the animals inside a cage or with a chain wrapped around their neck.
"We found a cat in a cage in two to three inches of feces."
This dog was left outside with no water or food at all. The dog would drink from an old paint bucket.
"Some of the owners have been identified. The animals were removed from the property and taken to the Animal Shelter."
Meanwhile police say people need to pay attention and use this case as an example.
“You should definitely not take your pet to anyone other than a licensed vet or vet's office to do these types of procedures."
Benavidez has additional charges pending for other related criminal acts.