California police have discovered 35 dogs living in substandard conditions in the home of a man they arrested for bank robbery, as reported by The Press-Enterprise.
Investigators tied Robert Bustamante Flores, 72, to a June 20 bank robbery in Corona after linking his vehicle to one seen during the criminal incident, according to KABC. Flores is accused of giving a bank teller a demand note and receiving cash in exchange.
Authorities said the elder’s dilapidated home had no power and was littered with animal feces. Animal control officers took custody of the canines—seven of which were puppies—and got them fed and hydrated, before placing them into quarantine.
Los Angeles Times noted that most of the malnourished dogs had overgrown nails and were filthy. One of the rescued dogs with open wounds was later euthanized due to the extent of its injuries.
“It appears that they were locked in the home, all day and night, every day,” Senior Detective Andy Bryant said, noting that it took cops more than an hour to coax the frightened dogs out the home. “They were very, very scared.”
Police made the unsettling discovery after questioning Flores and obtaining a search warrant for his home.
“Over all the years of my career, this is by far the worst call I have ever been to,” Animal Control Officer Bill Sellers said in the statement obtained by KTLA. “I have never witnessed this level of blatant neglect.”
Officers say they also found items connected to the robbery in the Corona residence.
The 72-year-old, who was arrested on Wednesday, pleaded not guilty to second-degree robbery charges on Friday.
The rescued pups will be put up for adoption in August. Authorities told the Los Angeles Times that animal cruelty charges are pending.
Flores is currently being held on $30,000 bail. His next court date is scheduled for August 10.
[Featured Image: Corona Police Department]