Golden Gate man to serve jail time in abuse of four dogs, Collier County Sheriff reports
A Golden Gate man accused of housing four dogs in abysmal conditions, locked in small cages in a dark garage without air conditioning, will serve a month in jail.
According to the Collier County Sheriff's Office, Rodrigo Ochoa, 48, had recently pleaded no contest to a charge of aggravated animal cruelty in connection with his April 14, 2021, arrest. Veterinarians euthanized three of the dogs because of their deteriorated health.
Deputies went to Ochoa's home for a welfare check on another resident when they smelled urine and feces coming from a garage and heard dogs barking. The deputies asked Ochoa if they could see the dogs.
Deputies said the dogs were locked in small cages, wallowing in their waste, with filthy and mostly empty food and water bowls. Two of the dogs had open wounds and untreated skin conditions.
Ochoa told deputies the dogs had been in his care for approximately two years, reports said.
The dogs were a 19-year-old female Yorkshire terrier; a 13-year-old female Rhodesian Ridgeback; a 12-year-old female American Staffordshire terrier; and a 7-year-old bull terrier.
The following day, Ochoa surrendered the dogs to Collier County Domestic Animal Services which performed a series of exams on the animals.
The dogs suffered from various ailments as a result of neglect and abuse, including pancreas and kidney diseases, heart conditions, large masses, pulmonary edemas, and degenerative joint disorders.
Collier County Circuit Administrative Judge Joseph Foster sentenced Ochoa to 30 days in jail with credit for two days already served, six months of house arrest and 18 months of probation.
“Our Animal Cruelty Investigations Alliance works hard every day,” Sheriff Kevin Rambosk said. “These dedicated professionals will continue to safeguard our community’s animal population.”