Case Snapshot
Case ID: 10724
Classification: Neglect / Abandonment
Animal: dog (pit-bull)
More cases in New Haven County, CT
More cases in CT
Login to Watch this Case

New features are coming soon. Login with Facebook to get an early start and help us test them out!



For more information about the Interactive Animal Cruelty Maps, see the map notes.



Wednesday, Feb 7, 2007

County: New Haven

Charges: Misdemeanor
Disposition: Alleged

Alleged: Gonzalo Montes De Oca

Case Updates: 6 update(s) available

The owner of dozens of pit bulls that authorities said were left unattended outside in the frigid weather was arrested Feb 9 on animal cruelty charges.

Gonzalo Montesdeoca, 42, is facing 37 counts of animal cruelty as well as dozens of counts of failure to vaccinate and license a dog.

Acting on a tip, police and animal control officers seized 37 dogs from the property on Feb 7.

Most of the dogs were in stacked cages in a shed or left outside. Authorities suspect the property was operating as an unlicensed breeding operation.

The dogs were examined by local veterinarians for signs of abuse and then sent to several animal shelters in the area.

Montesdeoca was released on a $100,000 bond and is due in New Haven Superior Court on Feb. 21.


Case Updates

According to court records, Gonzalo Montes De Oca failed to appear at his last court date, and a warrant is active for his arrest. Bail has been set in the amount of $250,000.00. Anyone with information regarding Montes De Oca's whereabouts may contact the New Haven Police Department's warrant line at 203-946-6315.
Source: Case # CR07-65006
Update posted on Oct 3, 2007 - 3:13PM 
Despite the fact a pit bull mauled her leg and both her arms Emily Harrison, who has dedicated her life to caring for animals, refuses to blame the dog.

"Emily's in a lot of pain but she is laughing and can't wait to get back to work. Her spirits are up," said Patricia Liptak, who is Milford's Animal Control Officer. "Emily does not blame the dog. She blames the man who raised him."

Harrison is a part-time animal specialist at the Milford Animal Shelter. She was applying flea and tick medicine to pit bulls who were seized in an East Haven animal cruelty case when one of the dogs reportedly attacked her. Harrison suffered serious injuries, which will require plastic surgery.

The pit bulls originally came from East Haven, after the town's Animal Control Department confiscated a large number of animals from a residence in February. The town was officially awarded ownership of 37 pit bulls last month, after animal cruelty charges were brought against the dogs' owner, East Haven resident Gonzalo Montes De Oca.

Montes De Oca was alleged to have run an illegal pit bull breeding operation where he neglected the dogs and they were not properly taken care of or fed. East Haven's kennel could not support all of the confiscated dogs, and Milford's kennel took in several them, including the one that attacked.

Montes De Oca will appear in court next for a pre-trial conference on September 13 at 9:00 a.m. in New Haven Superior Court.
Source: Milford Weekly - Aug 2, 2007
Update posted on Aug 24, 2007 - 2:17PM 
The town of East Haven has won a civil lawsuit against a resident charged with cruelty to animals for alleged mistreatment of 37 pit bulls.

Under the decision, New Haven Superior Court Judge William Hadden Jr. has given ownership of the dogs to the town of East Haven, and ordered Gonzalo Montes De Oca to pay the town $70,413.

In February, police arrested Montes De Oca, 42, of 334 Foxon Road, for allegedly running an illegal pit bull breeding operation.

In addition to the 37 counts of cruelty to animals, he was charged with 37 counts of failure to vaccinate and 28 counts of failure to license a dog.

The criminal charges are pending.

Meanwhile, East Haven Animal Control Officer Owen Little said Friday he is gratified by the lawsuit triumph and by the town's aggressive legal actions.

The court memorandum said Montes De Oca must pay $66,600, calculated at $15 per dog per day from Feb. 7 to June 6. He was ordered to pay an additional $3,813 for the town's veterinary expenses during that period.

Hadden ruled that evidence and trial testimony proved Montes De Oca neglected the dogs and that they were deprived of proper care, food and medical attention.

The court memorandum noted the dogs were kept in crates piled on top of each other. There was no food or water being provided, Hadden added.

He noted there was also a shed containing three puppies, two of whom had abrasions on their heads. The puppies had no food or water available, according to Hadden's findings.

"Several dogs were underweight, with their ribs showing," Hadden wrote. "Many of the dogs were forced to lie in their own feces and urine. Multiple dogs had wounds or other medical conditions, with no indication they were being treated."

Hadden also noted, "One dog had a bloody tail that splashed blood when the dog waved it."

Little said he hopes Montes De Oca does not appeal the decision and quickly pays the damages. He said once this is done, the town can offer the dogs for adoption.

Meanwhile, the dogs are being kept at kennels in East Haven and other area towns.
Source: New Haven Register - June 9, 2007
Update posted on Jun 20, 2007 - 12:50PM 
According to court records, Gonzalo Montesdeoca has been apprehended and is scheduled to appear in court next on June 18 at 9:30 a.m.

Montesdeoca faces animal cruelty charges stemming from his arrest in February for allegedly leaving his 37 pit bulls unattended outside in the frigid weather. Most of the dogs were in stacked cages in a shed or left outside.
Source: New Haven Superior Court Case # CR07-65006
Update posted on Jun 1, 2007 - 4:08PM 
Gonzalo Montesdeoca was scheduled to appear in court to face animal cruelty charges on April 11, but he failed to appear and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

According to court records, bail is set at $150,000.

Montesdeoca faces charges stemming from his arrest in February for allegedly leaving his 37 pit bulls unattended outside in the frigid weather. Most of the dogs were in stacked cages in a shed or left outside. Authorities suspect the property was operating as an unlicensed breeding operation.

Anyone with information regarding this defendant's whereabouts is encouraged to contact the New Haven Sheriff's Office at (203) 624-0700.
Source: Case # CR07-65006
Update posted on Apr 12, 2007 - 3:07PM 
Gonzalo Montesdeoca appeared in court on animal cruelty charges on February 21. He pled not guilty, and the matter has been continued to March 8, 2007 at 9:00 a.m. The charges stem from his arrest on February 9 for allegedly leaving his 37 pit bulls unattended outside in the frigid weather.
Source: Case # CR07-65006
Update posted on Feb 22, 2007 - 6:20PM 

References

« CT State Animal Cruelty Map
« More cases in New Haven County, CT

Note: Classifications and other fields should not be used to determine what specific charges the suspect is facing or was convicted of - they are for research and statistical purposes only. The case report and subsequent updates outline the specific charges. Charges referenced in the original case report may be modified throughout the course of the investigation or trial, so case updates, when available, should always be considered the most accurate reflection of charges.

For more information regarding classifications and usage of this database, please visit the database notes and disclaimer.