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06-16-06, 11:37 PM #1
Man given probation, must pay restitution in dog neglect case
June 16, 2006
An El Cajon man convicted of animal abuse for failing to properly care for his eight dogs yesterday was placed on five years' probation and ordered to pay more than $12,900 in restitution to animal control authorities.
Last month, a San Diego jury found Todd Gaerin, 42, guilty of seven misdemeanor charges of animal abuse or neglect, failure to properly care for an animal and failure to obtain a license for a dog over 4 months old.
The jury also convicted Gaerin of failing to properly immunize his dogs and illegally operating a kennel, both misdemeanors. El Cajon allows residents to house up to two dogs on a property without a kennel license.
Gaerin was acquitted of one count of animal abuse pertaining to one dog that was not as thin or malnourished as the others, according to the testimony.
San Diego Superior Court Judge Larrie Brainard acknowledged at a hearing yesterday that Gaerin, who suffers from health problems and is unemployed, is currently unable to pay the restitution amount. Brainard said that may change if Gaerin inherits property from his family.
“I just want my dogs back,” Gaerin said in court yesterday.
After hearing from Gaerin's attorney, Lissa Balotro, the judge allowed Gaerin to have one dog while on probation. Brainard said he believed there was no “mean-spiritedness” in Gaerin's actions, and that he tried but was unable to properly care for the dogs when he became ill.
County animal control officers were called to Gaerin's home Feb. 16 after one of his dogs jumped into a neighbor's yard. The neighbor noticed the dog looked skinny and sickly, according to testimony during the one-day trial.
Prosecutor Michael McCann said Gaerin's dogs appeared so thin that their bones stuck out, and that their weight quickly increased when the officers began feeding them at a nearby shelter.
Gaerin testified he tried to restore the dogs' weight by feeding them a half-serving of food every 12 hours until their stomachs were able to handle larger amounts.
He said also that the dogs were licensed, although most of them were registered in Lakeside, not El Cajon
06-17-06, 10:17 AM #2
The guy needs to work in an animal shelter for a year, cleaning the kennels, washing the dawgs and then be locked in a cage at night. Then come with dawg to the bridge and play for a little while.
He probably has kids and treats them as badly too.
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