SAN LORENZO (KPIX 5) – Dozens of dogs are being held as evidence in an East Bay animal cruelty case that has dragged on for months.

Deputies removed 29 dogs from a home in San Lorenzo last May. Since then, most of those Chihuahuas have been held at the East County Animal Shelter in Dublin.

Their owner, Michael Freitas is fighting one count of animal cruelty charge, and won’t surrender the dogs.

KPIX 5’s Da Lin: “Twenty-nine dogs just sounds excessive.”

Freitas: “No, it’s not excessive. It’s not hoarding. Cause there are places that have 300.”

Lin: “But people would say that’s hoarding, Mike.”

Freitas: No. Three hundred dogs or something, 300 or more.”

The shelter can’t put them up for adoption because the law says the dogs are evidence while the case drags on in court.

Since the Chihuahuas have been locked up for close to a year, people worry about their health, they say the Chihuahuas are also taking up space from other stray dogs.

“I just want my dogs back and get on with my life,” Freitas said.

But deputies said when the dogs were in the home, they were locked in rooms and had no access to food and water. They said there were feces and urine throughout the house.

Next door neighbors said it was a nightmare, they couldn’t sleep.

“When you’d go to sleep, they were barking a lot,” next door neighbor Alex Gee told KPIX 5. “And then he would yell at them, which made them even more aggravated.”

The shelter is caring for 21 of the 29 Chihuahuas, it is unclear what happened to the other eight. The shelter can’t do anything until the case is over.

  1. Really?? No access to food or water?? How many years or months did this man’s dogs live without access to food or water? Does anyone even think that is possible? I don’t doubt the dogs were noisy. Chihuahuas are noisy little dogs. Does that mean they were suffering? Only if you actually believe that barking chihuahuas are suffering chihuahuas, in which case you will need to begin seizing chihuahuas right and left. The neighbors maybe didn’t like the noise, or didn’t like the owner, and imagined all sorts of things. Doesn’t sound like they had firsthand knowledge. Everyone thinks he is a hoarding expert these days, thanks to TV. But guess what? Just because a person cares for a lot of animals, that doesn’t make that person a hoarder. What condition were the animals in? If they were in pretty good condition, and it sounds like these dogs were, Mr. Freitas wasn’t a hoarder. And what if he was a hoarder? Hoarding is a mental illness. Mental illness negates criminal intent. A jury must find criminal intent in order to convict Mr. Freitas of a criminal offense such as animal cruelty. So the DA can’t have it both ways. Either the guy is a hoarder OR he is guilty of animal cruelty, but both cannot be true. It is extremely likely that the DA is lying, because the DA always, always, always lies. As anyone who has ever been involved in any way in a criminal case. The DA always lies. Animal control is doubtless lying too, because AC has become very politicized in the last 20 years or so. Lying is their standard MO: They dumped the water and the food as soon as they went into the house, and said there wasn’t any, as improbable as it may seem, given that the dogs were alive and active. AC trashed the house, dumping feces inside the house that they found conveniently bagged in the garbage bins just outside. No doubt AC smeared feces all over the house. This is absolutely standard practice in animal seizures these days. After AC trashed the house, they took photographs and said that was how the house looked when they found it. If the house had carpeting, I would think that the dogs probably had accidents which the owner was not able to clean up completely. Probably that there was some residual smell. AC will testify that the smell was so strong that it made their eyes water. They will testify that they smelled the house across the street, even though no one else ever smelled the house across the street before that day. All of the windows could have been open, airing out the house, and it won’t matter. AC employees do not understand osmosis and will testify that the illogical actually did occur. AC’s claims are all BS, of course. But this is AC’s standard operating procedure. Good for Mr. Freitas, for fighting for his dogs. Why not ask AC what happened to the rest of the dogs? Normally, AC kills all of the older dogs that AC considers to be less adoptable, no matter that these animals do not belong to them, and no matter that the owner loved the older dogs, intended to care for them for the rest of their natural lives, and did not want them killed. AC’s purpose in automatically killing some number of Mr. Freitas’ dogs is to enable AC to claim in court that the dogs were in such bad shape that AC “had” to kill them. AC uses this technique to bolster its claims that the animals were “suffering.” Rest assured that the suffering REALLY begins when AC enters the home where these animals and their owner were living. My condolences to Mr. Freitas. I am so sorry for what you are going through. I know you miss your animals terribly and worry about them constantly. I am so sorry.

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