Thursday, 04 May 2017 05:54

Woman Arrested in Emaciated Dogs Cruelty Case

Authorities Track Her Down in Las Vegas

WEDNESDAY, MAY 3, 2017 – A woman suspected in the cruelty case involving emaciated pit bulls in the Lake Mathews area was arrested today in Las Vegas.

Kim Settle Gallegos (DOB: 12-18-1956) is facing 38 felony counts of animal cruelty. Details of when she will be extradited from Las Vegas to Riverside County are pending.

Riverside County Animal Services officers seized 27 dogs on July 20, 2016 at a property on Avocado Lane, just east of La Sierra Avenue, after receiving a tip. Detailed information about the seizure and the dogs can be found here.

All 27 dogs exhibited signs of emaciation and dehydration. Thirteen dogs had already died at the property, which included makeshift dog runs inside the ranch-style home.

“This was one of the worst cases of abuse we had seen in a long time,” Commander Chris Mayer said. “These dogs were left in shameful conditions. Some were in such bad condition, they died of starvation or from the extreme heat. Even some of our most veteran officers were shaking their heads at the total disregard the owners showed toward these poor animals.”

Officer Will Luna was the first officer at the property. On the day before the July 20 seizure and investigation,

Officer Luna responded to the property after Riverside County Animal Services received information about a stench at or near the property.

Ultimately, Riverside County Animal Services filed two declarations in support of arrest warrants. One was for Ms. Gallegos, the wife of Carl Dixon of Los Angeles. Mr. Dixon, a pit bull breeder and supposed dog-show award winner, was in custody at Men’s Central Jail in Los Angeles on unrelated charges.

The second arrest warrant was for Mr. Dixon’s sister, Christian Dixon. She remains outstanding. Ms. Gallegos’ whereabouts had been unknown for a while. But members of the Inland Region Apprehension Team eventually caught up with Ms. Gallegos after months of searching.

IRAT (which includes officers, deputies and agents from the Riverside Police Department, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, the FBI and the San Bernardino Police Department), received information that she was located in Las Vegas. A call was made to Las Vegas Metro Police and she was arrested.

The property on Avocado Lane, sandwiched between La Sierra Avenue and Greentree Drive, was a rental property. Shortly after the seizure of the dogs, an Animal Services officer interviewed the property owner and requested documents from that owner to support the ongoing cruelty investigation.

Mr. Dixon is believed to be the owner of the dogs but, due to his arrest, could not get to the Riverside County property. Investigative work has illustrated that Ms. Gallegos and Christian Dixon had knowledge that the dogs needed to be cared for, but failed to do so adequately, Commander Mayer said.

Prior to his arrest, Mr. Dixon had been a public supporter of pit bulls and pit bull breeding. In fact, Mr. Dixon spoke at a Riverside County Board of Supervisors meeting in opposition when an ordinance was proposed to regulate the reproduction of pit bulls and pit bull cross dogs.

During the public comments portion of the Board of Supervisors meeting in September 2013, Mr. Dixon asked the elected officials to have consideration for breeders that “conduct themselves in a responsible way.” A link to a recording of that Board of Supervisors meeting can be found here (Mr. Dixon begins speaking at about the 3 hour, 14-minute mark.):

Mr. Dixon is believed to be the man featured in a YouTube video below, showing a pit bull hanging from a rope by its jaws; the title of the video is “PitBull Dancing.” The video is listed as having been posted by a Carl Dixon.

Of the 27 dogs impounded on July 20, one did not survive. The dog, a 9-year-old male, was described as exhibiting grave conditions upon evacuation from the property. An officer had to carry the dog into the San Jacinto shelter. The dog was immediately examined. Dr. Sara Strongin described the dog as “laterally recumbent,” meaning he was on his side and, she said, “he did not raise his head and did not respond to anything we were doing for him.”

Essentially, the dog was moribund upon arrival, suffering from extreme dehydration and probably organ failure.

“We got him over to the exam table and started to treat him,” Dr. Strongin said. “It was a matter of deciding if he should be euthanized, but he crashed so fast.”

All but three of the 27 live dogs were transferred to rescue groups. The other three were euthanized after all efforts to rescue them were exhausted.

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