A Lathrop man was arrested for animal cruelty after performing surgeries on dogs without a valid veterinary license, the San Joaquin County Sheriff's Office announced this week.
Police are now looking for any potential victims in the case involving the suspect, Pedro Maldonado Victorio, who was booked into county jail.
Victorio was being investigated by Manteca Animal Services for the alleged surgeries on animals before he was arrested.
On Jan. 25, a woman noticed English bulldog puppies running on the loose from a house in the 2000 block of E. Louise Avenue in Lathrop. She contacted law enforcement after spotting two men wearing bloody gloves exiting the house, which officials later determined was owned by Victorio.
Responding deputies found the home’s kitchen was being used as a make-shift surgery room, located multiple narcotics, and discovered at least a dozen dogs.
The investigation led to search warrants at multiple locations in Lathrop and Manteca, where officials discovered more evidence of illegal surgeries and $13,000. Eighteen additional dogs were rescued, a mix of English and French bulldogs. The dogs were in poor condition and found in overcrowded kennels. Many of the dogs were taken to a veterinary hospital for treatment.
Victorio faces charges of animal cruelty, practicing veterinary medicine without a valid license, and transporting a controlled substance.
Police said anyone who purchased a dog from Victorio or had him perform surgery on their pet should contact either the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office at 209-468-4400 or the Manteca Police Department at 209-456-8100.