Dozens of rescued dogs get help

July 30, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
New details on an animal abuse case in the Santa Cruz Mountains. A dog breeder is on the run and apparently taunting the authorities.

But the rescued dogs are being cared for and donations are pouring in. The donations are coming from across the country and the Santa Cruz County Animal Services Center says it's actually collected about $2,000 in cash just on Thursday, and people have been dropping off supplies.

Authorities say they still think there are six abused or neglected dogs on the loose on Robert Brunette's Bolder Creek property, and the dog breeder himself is still out there.

About 40 rescued dogs experienced the extremes of human behavior: first abuse and neglect and now the kindness of strangers. Some people are in tears as they drop off donations.

"When I saw they had rescued a bunch of dogs I just grabbed some clear towels and brought them down," said donor Carol Glover.

Animals Services now has enough blankets and are hoping for more cash donations for veterinary care.

Some puppies look healthy but have parasites and their stomachs are literally swollen with worms.

Emaciated and scared dogs were rescued Saturday and yesterday from the Boulder Creek property of Robert Brunette.

After their first raid, authorities believe Brunette returned and left a sixth dog skull and pair of dog paws in plain view.

"It was pretty startling to find the paws if nothing else. I can't speculate as to how they ended up in that condition but they weren't attached to the animal's body and that's disconcerting," said Animal Services General Manager Henry Brzezinski.

The case is so horrifying; people worried about the surviving dogs also want the person responsible brought to justice.

"I hope they find him and well I think we all have the same feeling about this individual," said donor Robin Grabriel.

The first step in the legal process is finding and talking to Robert Brunette. It will likely be weeks before the dogs that are still considered his, would be available for adoption.

"Hopefully once these dogs become legally ours, we'll be able to socialize them and adopt them to wonderful new homes," said animal services coordinator Tricia Geisreiter.

The Animal Services Center's manager says he expects to get yet one more search warrant to try and humanely capture the six dogs believed to be loose in Brunette's property.


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