Accused dog breeder calls in to ABC7

August 2, 2008 1:24:29 PM PDT
The man at the center of a horrifying animal abuse case claims he's the victim of a government conspiracy. Robert Brunette called ABC7 from jail, denies the allegations against him and claims his rights are being violated.

Brunette can't have any visitors yet in the Santa Cruz County Jail, but he called ABC7 and allowed the conversation to be recorded. His story of what was happening on his property was far different from animal services and from a man who met with Brunette years ago.

Robert Brunette claimed to be selling purebred Cane Corso dogs in ads placed in Bay Area newspapers. In 2002 Gary Mountain answered Brunette's ad. Mountain says he didn't see any Cane Corsos and what he did see disgusted him.

"The dog puppies were actually being eaten by mosquitoes and they had open sores and yellow jackets were on the dogs feeding on the dogs," said Mountain, Robert Brunette's customer.

Brunette denies he has ever abused or neglected his dogs.

"I don't abuse my dogs, I keep them fed. I play with them. I take them for walks," said Brunette.

Animal services has taken 40 dogs off of Brunette's Boulder Creek property and Los Gatos Police arrested Brunette on the campus of Los Gatos High School. They served their first search warrant on his Boulder Creek property on Saturday and he was on the run until his arrest Thursday.

Brunette faces 13 felony and misdemeanor counts of animal abuse and neglect, but denies any mistreatment of the animals.

Gary Mountain says Brunette told him he was breeding dogs for a killer instinct and he saw evidence that made him believe that.

"He had real wolves and he was breeding wolves with dogs and said, 'This is my new macho breed,'" said Mountain.

Brunette claims he has his own method of breeding, but says his goal is not a vicious dog.

"It's my own bloodline that I've been developing for the last 20 years. It's my breed. I breed them to be strong and tough and don't train them to be vicious or anything," said Brunette.

Brunette says he is a private person and admits to being even a little paranoid, but says the government and animal services have wrongly targeted him and he plans on suing.

"I'm protecting what's going on right now," said Brunette. "...Someone coming in and trying to affect my lifestyle and you know, you know, take my freedom away," said Brunette.

Gary Mountain said he repeatedly contacted the board of supervisors, city council and various other agencies like the sheriff's department, complaining about what was happening on Brunette's property and nothing was ever done, until now.

Brunette will likely appear in court on Monday.

Read the whole transcript of ABC7's interview with Robert Brunette: click here


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