Police in California arrested a man on animal abuse charges after 16 dogs, three of them dead, were found in his vehicle, according to the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office.
The El Dorado Sheriff’s Office received a report of a suspicious vehicle on Friday in Bridal Veil Falls, which led them to a man identified as ZJar Uruluzu, 57, according to a sheriff’s department Facebook statement.
Officers reportedly got a search warrant for the SUV and found more than a dozen dogs, both dead and alive, inside the vehicle. A county animal services manager told CBS 13 that the animals were living in inhumane conditions, surrounded by waste and flies. The sheriff’s department said animal services were called to assist. (RELATED: ‘Suicidal’ Woman Charged With Felony Animal Cruelty After Throwing Dog Off Motel Balcony)
In total, 13 dogs were alive and three were dead. The dogs that were still alive were reportedly tethered together, and the dead dogs were in containers. The vehicle also had numerous backpacks, duffels, and other bags and storage containers, a photo shared by the sheriff’s department showed.
The 13 dogs that were alive were taken in by animal services, according to the sheriff’s department.
Henry Brzezinksi told CBS 13 that it appeared two of the three dead dogs had been decomposing for weeks. He added that animal services are looking at rope burn and other consequences from tethering dogs together, especially in an enclosed space with dead animals.
“I’ve seen situations similar mostly in houses usually. Not in a car to this level,” Brzezinski told CBS 13.
There were several different breeds of dogs in the vehicle, including a golden retriever, a husky, a Dalmatian, and a Pomeranian, according to the Associated Press (AP).
Uruluzu was charged with cruelty to animals and was in jail Monday on $50,000 bail, the AP reported.