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Wild dogs and cats euthanized in California

More than 100 feral cats and dogs living in squalid conditions were euthanized after authorities found them with the remains of 200 other animals placed in trash bags on the grounds of a home in rural Temecula, Calif.

Ten dogs were rescued, but authorities had to remove the dead bodies of 318 cats and dogs from the property, said Willa Bagwell, executive director of Animal Friends of the Valleys.

“They were just wild animals. They had never been touched,” she told the Riverside Press-Enterprise. “I’ve never seen this many animals and animals this feral.”

When animal control officers initially arrived, packs of dogs attacked each other, and about 70 dogs circled officers and threatened to attack, leaving authorities with no choice but to euthanize the animals, she said.

Temecula police Friday arrested Elisao Gilbert Jimenez, 66, on suspicion of animal cruelty after being called to the residence about a vicious dog. Jimenez lived alone and let the animals breed and roam freely without taking any of them to a local shelter because he feared they would be destroyed, Bagwell said. Jimenez put animals that had died into bags instead of burying them because he didn’t own the property, she said.