A man who sold dozens of sick puppies to families will be paying more than $200,000 in restitution to the victims.
“The pets that we bring into our homes become a beloved part of our family. Trying to sell sick puppies to unsuspecting people is just plain wrong,” District Attorney George Gascón said. “That’s why it’s so important to use established animal shelters or pet adoption agencies so that we avoid becoming victims and also help end the market for unscrupulous illegal dog breeders.”
Gustavo Gonzalez, 27, of Downey pleaded no contest to one misdemeanor count of selling live animals on the street.
Gonzalez was immediately sentenced to 87 days in jail, placed on probation for a year and “waived time credits for the nearly two years he has spent in jail,” Gascón said. He also was ordered to pay restitution to 63 victims and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles for a total of $203,000.
As a result of the plea, Gonzalez was ordered to undergo one year of counseling for animal cruelty and is prohibited from owning or being around any animals for the next 10 years.
From February 2018 to April 2019, Gonzalez sold sick puppies to families throughout Southern California. Most of the puppies died after the victims brought them to their homes, prosecutors said.
The case was investigated by the Los Angeles County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs, spcaLA, the District Attorney’s Office Bureau of Investigation and the Downey Police Department.