JANESVILLE (WKOW) – The seizure of nine dogs from a Janesville apartment after police stated the animals were receiving no food or water for days results in only a citation for the teenager caring for the dogs.
19-year old Javier Orozco of Janesville appeared for a Rock County Court hearing Monday via video from the Rock County jail. Orozco entered a plea of no contest to the non-criminal violation Improper Animal Shelter Sanitation Standards. Court Commissioner Larry Barton fined Orozco $100, plus court costs.
But Janesville Police reports show Orozco was arrested April 18 on nine, tentative criminal counts of animal neglect.
Reports show two adult dogs and seven puppies were seized from an apartment at 1816 Joliet Street at the time of Orzoco’s arrest and taken to the Rock County Humane Society. Reports state one of the two-month old puppies was bleeding from its head when officers arrived.
“The apartment was completely trashed by the dogs,” police reports state. “There is animal feces and urine all over the apartment and it was clear they had not been cared for.”
Reports state Orozco said he had been caring for the dogs for approximately three days while the dog’s owner “…went to New Orleans” for vacation.
“During the time Javier was supposed to be watching the dogs, he did not provide them with food or water,” reports say.
A neighbor says the owner of the dogs she describes as a Rottweiler-mix breed also neglected the animals, with a strong odor emanating from the apartment for some time.
“They never stepped foot outside the door, never, out the front door or the patio door,” Rosie Hewittle says of the dogs. “And never once did she take them out for shots or anything.”
Reports state “…the female mother dog appeared to be malnourished and was very skinny.” They say the dog with the head wound “was covered in blood,” but a veterinarian technician said the animal’s cut “…looked worse than it was.”
Authorities say the owner of the dogs was interviewed by phone. She said she had received no indication the dogs were in distress during her vacation.
Reports confirm the dogs had received no vaccinations.
Authorities informed the owner she had five days to claim the dogs or they would be made available for adoption.
Prosecuting attorney Anne Nack declined comment to 27 News, deferring to her superiors.
Rock County Deputy District Attorney Perry Foultz and District Attorney David O’Leary have yet to respond to requests for comment on why the tentative, criminal charges were rejected in favor of the equivalent of a traffic ticket for Orozco, and whether the owner of the dogs remained under investigation.