ARANSAS PASS, Texas — In May, 43 dogs were found living in deplorable conditions in Aransas Pass.
They were found at the home of 63-year-old Richard Gonzales, who was arrested and charged.
The Aransas Pass police released new information yesterday on their investigation.
The San Patricio County Court convicted Gonzales on all 43 counts of animal cruelty.
As a result, Gonzales received 720 days of probation for each count. His final total comes out to 84 years of probation.
Most of the dogs were crowded in small cages, covered in filth.
Aransas Pass Assistant Police Chief David Wood was there when animal control seized all 43 dogs. He says Gonzales was breeding the animals without proper licensing.
"I don't believe he was doing it for money,” Wood said. “He was doing it out of his love for animals. He was actually trying to create a new breed.”
It took several months to get those animals healthy and for them all to find homes.
"All of the dogs tested positive for parasites,” Wood said. “It was just a horrible situation."
But all of that wasn't cheap. In fact, the city spent almost $26,000 to get these animals healthy again.
Here's the breakdown for the total, with initial vet services, boarding, emergency medical, spay/neuter costs all totaling more than $25,000.
As part of his conviction, Gonzales will be responsible for paying some of that back to the city.
“The estimated restitution amount is between $18,000 and $19,000.”
Wood says it is not an uncommon phenomenon for people to hoard animals.
“Often times it's misplaced energy and efforts and it just gets away from them and they become unable to care for large numbers of animals,” Wood said.
Wood says if your ever find yourself in a situation where you own more animals than you can handle, contact animal rescue groups or your local animal control officers before it becomes a legal issue.