July 2 2010
From Channel 10 News:
EL CAJON, Calif. -- Dozens of dogs taken from the home of a Lakeside woman charged with failing to properly care for the canines can be given away, a judge ruled Friday.
In March, animal control officers found 63 dogs -- mostly boxers, Chihuahuas and a few small terriers -- in dirty cages stacked throughout 65-year-old Alice Via's two-bedroom, 750-square-foot home on Moreno Avenue, said Dan DeSousa of San Diego County Animal Services.
At the time, many of the dogs had skin conditions and other illnesses, along with injuries to their feet and noses from trying to escape from their cages, according to DeSousa.
Despite the "appalling" conditions in the house, Via apparently "had the best of intentions" in taking in the canines, which were well-fed, DeSousa said.
On Friday, El Cajon Judge Allan Preckel ruled that animal control officials can start placing the dogs in new homes.
He also said three of Via's personal dogs could be returned to her as long as officials are able to check on their welfare.
At the time the dogs were seized, Via was running a private shelter and dog-adoption service under the name San Diego Boxer Rescue but did not have a kennel license to do so, DeSousa said.
Via is scheduled to be arraigned July 8 on misdemeanors charges of having an unlawful kennel, keeping animals in unsanitary conditions, failing to treat contagious animals and failure to care for an animal, said Deputy District Attorney Richard Huffman II.