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Dog rescue operator in San Diego County found guilty of animal neglect

March 1, 2011 |  5:05 pm

Aldo A 62-year-old Lakeside woman who has run an animal rescue operation for several years was convicted Tuesday of five misdemeanor counts of animal neglect.

A jury in the El Cajon branch of San Diego County Superior Court found Alice Via guilty of running an illegal kennel at her home -- keeping more than 60 dogs -- and neglecting the dogs.

Many of the dogs suffered from parasites, fleas, ticks and kennel cough, and were underweight. Some of the dogs were kept in crates for 20 hours a day, according to evidence presented at trial.

Most of the dogs were boxers, but there were also spaniels and several Chihuahuas, including Aldo (above) who was mentioned in one of the counts.

The dogs were turned over to the county Department of Animal Services. One died, but others were given medical care and most have been adopted, officials said.

Via, who ran San Diego Boxer Rescue, is set to be sentenced next week and could face up to two years in jail.

Deputy Dist. Atty. Karra Reedy, who prosecuted the case, said that even if Via is not sentenced to jail, her conditions of probation will prohibit her from keeping so many dogs on her property.

-- Tony Perry in San Diego

Photo: Aldo, a Chihuahua found at the home of Alice Via. Credit: San Diego County district attorney