SAN ANTONIO -- Animal Care Services seized 19 dogs from a south side home Tuesday in what investigators say is a severe cruelty case.
Investigators found the dogs living in animal waste in poor conditions inside the home on Mally Blvd., off Commercial. Veterinarians examined the dogs, who had lost hair and appeared malnourished. Many were not socialized and were scared of people, said Vincent Medley, ACS assistant director.
ACS had been trying to work with the owner for several years but he refused to comply or clean up the house, Medley said.
The owner, Michael S. Hernandez, was arrested on unrelated municipal warrants. He is not facing animal cruelty charges at this time, but that could change pending the outcome of the investigation, Medley said.
Neighbors said the dogs were a health and safety hazard. Mary Rivera, who lives two doors down, said the dogs "stink" and spread fleas to neighboring homes. She said her grandchildren are not allowed to play outside because her grandson Luciano Alvarado was attacked in the street in October.
"I saw it coming and it slid and, 'grrr.' It growled at me, so I ran. I couldn't beat the dog and it got me on my leg," Alvarado explained.
ACS did not have the bite report available and could not confirm the details.
If Hernandez does not relinquish custody of his dogs, a hearing in municipal court will be held within ten days to determine who will keep the dogs.
If you suspect animal cruelty or abuse, call 311 if you live within the city limits and provide as much information as possible. If you live in the county, call the Bexar County Sheriff's Office.