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Mother, son guilty of abandoning 30 dogs crammed in crates

September 25, 2012 |  4:37 pm

Recovered dogs
A mother and son were convicted and sentenced Tuesday for cramming 30 dogs into crates and abandoning the animals in a Laguna Hills park, prosecutors said.

Authorities said that Flordeliza Aguilo Escano, 59, and James Francis Alambra, 26, drove to San Remo Park in Laguna Hills and unloaded two crates on May 20.

One of the crates contained 14 dogs, the other 16, and the dogs were so tightly packed that they were stacked atop one another without food or water, Orange County prosecutors said.

When the mother and son went to leave, their truck wouldn't start and they were forced to call another person to pick them up. That person, authorities said, was unaware the son and mother and deserted the animals in the park.

Park visitors late found the caged dogs and alerted authorities. The dogs showed signs of neglect, including matted fur and ingrown toenails, prosecutors said. Since the animals were recovered, all of them have been placed -- either adopted or have a place in a nonprofit animal shelter, said Ryan Drabeck, director of Orange County Animal Care.

Escano pleaded guilty Tuesday to misdemeanor counts of animal abandonment, animal mistreatment and animal neglect, according to a statement from the Orange County district attorney's office.

She was sentenced to three years of informal probation, restitution, ordered to undergo intensive mental health counseling for a year, 180 days in jail stayed and is forbidden to own or live with any animals. 

Her son, Alambra, also pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of animal abandonment, according to the statement.

He was sentenced to three years of informal probation, 60 days in jail stayed, restitution, three months of mental health counseling and is also forbidden to own or live with animals, prosecutors said.


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Photo: The dogs crammed in a crate were abandoned at Laguna Hills' San Remo Park without food or water. Credit: Orange County Animal Care