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Rescue owner arrested in Kern County; hundreds of animals seized by officers
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ROSAMOND  (AP) — A man says he never expected to be arrested when he called for help at the animal rescue where he was facing eviction.
Duain Preitz, 61, was arrested for investigation of nine counts of animal cruelty when Kern County Animal Control officers seized 215 animals from Best of Buddies Inc. over the weekend. The county recently refused to give Preitz a permit to run the rescue, authorities said, because he did not meet minimum requirements.
"I've spent hundreds of thousands of dollars," he told KBAK-TV in Bakersfield on Monday night. "I've spent 13 years of my life. I've placed 2,000 dogs just in the last five years. I've given up everything and you are arresting me?"
Preitz was facing eviction Wednesday from his rented property, so he called for help with the animals on Friday. County officials said they found 215 dogs, cats, horses, pigs, ducks and chickens, many of them malnourished and ill, on the Mojave Desert property near Edwards Air Force Base.
Interim Kern County Animal Control Division Manager Ron Brewster told KBAK that some of the animals were in individual pens, some pens held multiple animals and some animals were sharing general population areas.
Officers said 15 animals were in such bad shape they needed urgent veterinary care. The rest were taken to the Kern County Fairgrounds where volunteers worked through the weekend to process them.
The animals need to be examined and vaccinated before they are put up for adoption, officials said.
Preitz told KGET-TV that he knew some of the animals had mange and some were underweight.
"I was told that one of my horses was too thin. You know what, that horse is 31 years old. It's not going to live much longer," Preitz said.
He remained in custody Tuesday on $90,000 bail, county jail records showed