MOJAVE — A court hearing for a Golden Hills resident charged with six felony counts involving the malicious mistreatment of animals has been postponed to January after the man's defense attorney raised concerns about “receipt of a packet that sheds light on the case."
Defense attorney David Faulkner, who is representing Allen Eugene Lee, 69, requested that the case be postponed during a hearing Thursday in the Mojave Branch of Kern County Superior Court.
Outside of court, he said the packet has not been provided in the case so far and it needs to be considered. He did not elaborate, and said he would not discuss the case further.
Judge Tiffany Organ-Bowles agreed to postpone the hearing until 10 a.m. Jan. 31.
The felony counts stem from allegations of malicious mistreatment of dogs, puppies and caged birds. Lee, who was charged and arrested March 27, was released a few days later on his own recognizance after pleading not guilty to all charges.
On March 29, Judge Barbara A. Lane said the charges against Lee included that he "maliciously and intentionally maimed, mutilated or tortured" more than two birds, 10 mother dogs and more than 100 puppies found in different areas throughout the property, including under a shed, near a porch, a concrete area and in a section of Lee's residence on Golden Star Boulevard.
Kern County Animal Services removed 144 dogs and two cockatiels when a search warrant was served.
At least six officers from Animal Services assisted in searching Lee’s residence on March 27. Officer Daniel Burgess and Officer Jay Smith from KCAS explained the environment at the home in documents filed in court.
“The property was covered in an excessive amount of feces and had urine saturation throughout. The dogs had no access to water and were left to fend for themselves in the backyard,” Burgess said in documents filed in court. The officers also observed that dogs were jumping into a wheelbarrow to access an inch of water to survive, added Burgess.
Some of the rooms inside the house were described as “slick and sticky” with “such an overwhelming odor of urine and ammonia that it burned my lungs to breathe in the air,” said Burgess. More than 10 animals were listed as living inside the house, with five dogs inside a somewhat clean room and healthy.
A large number of feral dogs were found running around the property, according to documents filed in court. It was estimated that more than 100 dogs were in the backyard. Many mother dogs were burrowing in different areas to have litters.
Several inches of feces were covering the backyard and inside the house, with no area for the animals to go without being forced to live in unsanitary conditions, and numerous animals were described as starved and dragging their back legs, said Burgess.
It's not known how many animals were adopted or euthanized.