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Wednesday, November 13, 2019

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St. Bernard deputies find 32 dogs in freezer

St. Bernard deputies find 32 dogs in freezer

CHALMETTE, La. (AP) — A 52-year-old Arabi man was in custody Wednesday after deputies found the bodies of 32 puppies and dogs in his freezer and refrigerator, the St. Bernard Parish Sheriff's Office said.

In a statement, Sheriff James Pohlmann said Juan Toledo was booked late Tuesday with 32 counts of aggravated cruelty to animals. A judge will set bond Thursday for Toledo, who's currently being held in the St. Bernard Parish Prison.

Pohlmann said Toledo denied killing the dogs telling investigators the animals died and he never buried them. "He offered no explanation of how they died, except to speculate the smallest ones may have been accidentally suffocated by a mother dog," the sheriff said.

Pohlmann said there were no knife or gunshot wounds and no other obvious signs of trauma to the 29 puppies and three older dogs.

No living animals were found at the house. The remains of the deceased dogs were turned over to the parish's animal control division.

Toledo had been free on $50,000 bond for a July 1 arrest in St. Bernard Parish for the aggravated battery of his then-girlfriend. The woman, who tipped authorities about the animals, had gone to Toledo's home to retrieve items she had left there and allegedly found the dogs.

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