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For Immediate Release:
September 19, 2013
Media Contact:
Luis Salgado

Arrest Made for Animal Cruelty for the 80+ Dogs that Were Rescued by Miami-Dade County Animal Services Department Last Week

On Friday, September 13, 2013, the Miami-Dade County Police Department, Agricultural Patrol Unit, based on collaboration with Miami-Dade County Animal Services Department (ASD), arrested Maria Y. Crespo and her mother, Teresa Horta-Barrial, on over 100 charges of misdemeanor animal cruelty. ASD removed more than 80 dogs from squalid conditions and are still in need of finding great loving homes as soon as possible.

An anonymous report of animal cruelty filed through the County’s 3-1-1 Answer Center alerted investigators to the horrific conditions in southwest Miami-Dade. Investigators located the dogs housed in filthy crates aboard a large truck. All of the dogs were safely transported from the property by ASD who caught the suspect trying to escape the property with the dogs. The suspects are still in jail and have not bonded out.

“We take any and all animal cruelty allegations very seriously and have zero tolerance for anyone who does not properly care for any animal,” said Alex Muñoz, Director, Animal Services Department.  “There is no reason whatsoever to make animals live in deplorable conditions.  There are options available for anyone that can no longer care for their pet(s) due to personal health issues and/or change of financial situation.  We are always willing to assist anyone in need and so are our rescue partners which serve as an extension of our operations by helping us in finding loving homes for all shelter pets.” 

About Miami-Dade County Animal Services

Miami-Dade Animal Services is an open admission public shelter.  Over 27,000 pets are abandoned each year at the shelter where staff and volunteers work diligently to reunite, re-home or find a Rescue Partner for the animals.  The Department is also responsible for enforcing Chapter 5 of the Miami-Dade County Code and Florida State Statutes pertaining to animal cruelty and neglect.  For more information, please call 311 or visit our website at