When local sheriff’s deputies executed a warrant in Neenach and found a dozen starving dogs inside the home, one of the deputies grabbed a box of Cheerios off the counter and dumped the cereal on the floor for the dogs to eat.
Two men were arrested on suspicion of weapons offenses, 15 firearms seized — including an illegal assault rifle — and a dozen dogs rescued, deputies reported.
“The conditions were deplorable, and the dogs were emaciated,” Shirley Miller, spokeswoman for the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station, said late Thursday afternoon.
The grim discovery was made Thursday after members of the SCV Sheriff’s Career Offenders, Burglary, and Robbery Apprehension (COBRA) unit suited up in Santa Clarita and then drove to Neenach to serve a warrant there, east of Gorman, near the Kern County line.
The warrant was for a criminal complaint, Miller said, noting someone at the Neenach home had allegedly threatened a water district worker who had, in turn, notified deputies. A threat was allegedly made to kill the water district worker over an unpaid water bill, Miller said.
When the COBRA members entered the house, they were met by dogs so thin their ribs were showing.
Officials with the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control were called to the scene to take care of the dogs.
Before they entered the Neenach house, the Animal Care officials suited up in protective white jumpsuits, similar to those typically worn by firefighters specially trained to handle hazardous materials.
COBRA members also seized 15 firearms from inside the same home and one illegal assault rifle, Miller said.
One man was arrested on suspicion of being a felon in possession of ammunition.
A second man, identified by arresting deputies as the first suspect’s uncle, was arrested on suspicion of possessing an illegal firearm.
Animal cruelty charges were to be assessed by the Animal Care officials, Miller said.