LAGUNA HILLS (CBS) — A woman allegedly dumped dozens of small dogs boxed in crates at an Orange County park.

Witnesses say they saw a woman driving a Toyota truck when she stopped in the parking lot of San Remo Park in Laguna Hills at approximately 5:20 p.m. Sunday, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

The woman allegedly proceeded to unload two crates stuffed with 29 small dogs on a shady part of the sidewalk near San Remo Road. Her truck reportedly broke down and she called her friend to pick her up. She was seen leaving in a black Mercedes-Benz and left the truck behind.

Investigators tracked the abandoned truck’s license plate to a Huntington Beach address but the woman they suspected was at the park no longer lived there.

“There was at least 12-15 puppies in each crate. And each dog, there wasn’t a sound out of 30 puppies,” said Debbie Hewko, who was walking her dog, “Bandit”, past the park when the crates caught her eye.

The Laguna Hills resident said the dogs inside were in bad shape.

“Anyone who looked at it was just like you wanted to cry and how dare somebody do that, how dare you do something so evil,” Hewko said.

The crates held Lhasa Apso and Chihuahua mixes, ranging from six months to six years old. Animal control officers were called and they transported the dogs to an Orange County shelter.

Orange County Sheriff’s detectives say they’ve identified three people responsible for leaving the dogs — a woman and two men.

“We’ve identified them, we’ve interviewed them and they have admitted they were involved in this. In fact, one of three is actually the owner of these 30 dogs,” a detective told CBS2.

Two of the suspects have admitted to dumping the dogs.

The three suspects could face animal cruelty and abandonment charges, authorities said.

“I think a lot more should happen to them than possibly a misdemeanor,” said a witness to the incident. “It was horrible, I’m really glad to see they were caught.”

According to animal rescue groups this could be a case of backyard breeding.


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