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Florida Couple Arrested for Animal Abuse as Over 100 Animals Rescued in “Operation Rescue Thor”


Citrus County Animal Services, the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office, and Animal Control Officers worked together to arrest Faustino Alfredo Valladares, 66, and Patricia Maria Villadamigo, 46, on felony animal abuse charges after a four-month investigation called “Operation Rescue Thor.”

(Photo by Yuri CORTEZ / AFP) (Photo by YURI CORTEZ/AFP via Getty Images)

Inverness, Florida – December 5, 2023

The review began on July 31 after claims of abuse at the couple’s home in Inverness. The police found over 16 dogs, 40 chickens, and turkeys that had all been badly neglected. Animal control officers carefully checked on the animals throughout the investigation, even though Alfredo Valladares and Patricia Maria Villadamigo didn’t help much.

It was disturbing to find that the couple’s dogs did not have their latest shots, and they did not have the necessary kennel license for having 10 or more dogs, which is against county law. A 7-year-old German Shepherd named Thor was the most upset of the animals. He was in pain from a serious ear infection and hip problems.

The couple was given a ticket and told they had to get treatment within 24 hours, but they refused to give Thor the care he needed. Because of this, arrest warrants were issued for Valladares and Villadamigo, who were each charged with one count of criminal animal abuse.

After searching the property again, officers found a disturbing scene with 18 dogs, 11 puppies, and 73 birds, one of which was dead. A search request was used to find Thor and get him the medical care he needed right away.

The couple turned in all of their animals to Citrus County Animal Services, where they are now being treated and forensically studied by veterinarians. The sheriff, Mike Prendergast, praised the quick work of the Animal Control Officers and Community Crimes Detectives and was proud of how they worked together with Citrus County Animal Services to save these innocent animals.

“Our Animal Control Officers work hard to protect animals like Thor from owners who aren’t responsible and hurt them.” “It makes me sick to see how little Villadamigo and Valladares cared about their animals,” Sheriff Mike Prendergast said. “I am proud of the quick investigative work of both our ACOs and Community Crimes Detectives, as well as our partnership with Citrus County Animal Services for their assistance in saving these helpless animals.”

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