|For Immediate Release
Case # 07CM10459
October 17, 2007
PET SHOP OWNER AND SON CHARGED WITH
ABUSING AND NEGLECTING 85 PETS IN SANTA ANA
SANTA ANA – The owner of a Santa Ana pet shop and his son have been charged for abusing, neglecting, and failing to care for 85 puppies, kittens, and bunnies in their unmaintained and unsanitary store. Shahram Behafarin, 51, Irvine, is charged with misdemeanors for one count of animal abuse by a caretaker, two counts of animal neglect, and four counts of failure to provide care to pet shop animals. Shahram Behafarin’s son Khosrow Behafarin, 23, Irvine, is charged with misdemeanors for three counts of failure to provide care to pet shop animals and one count of animal neglect. If convicted on all counts, Shahram Behafarin faces a maximum of eighteen months in jail and up to $23,000 in fines and Khosrow Behafarin faces one year and up to $3,000 in fines. Both defendants also face restitution to the County for the cost of caring for the pets. They are scheduled to be arraigned Thursday, October 25, 2007 at 8:30 a.m. at the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana.
On August 17, 2007, the Santa Ana Police Department (SAPD) and their Animal Services Division received complaints that the Village Pets shop located at 3396 S. Bristol Street in Santa Ana was keeping their animals in inhumane and deplorable conditions. The defendants are accused of keeping approximately 85 puppies, kittens, and bunnies in unclean, overcrowded, and broken cages with insufficient water and food. They are also accused of keeping conditions with an overwhelming stench of urine and visible fecal matter on the floor. Many of the animals were dehydrated, in distress from the conditions, diseased, or in need of immediate medical attention. The temperature was in excess of 100 degrees in the shop. They are accused of selling sick pets to unknowing customers, two of whom became infected with scabies after contracting it from their new puppy. The Behafarins were operating Village Pets without a valid business license.
The animals were taken into protective custody and an administrative hearing was held by SAPD Animal Services on August 23, 2007 finding that the removal of the pets was justified. While many of the pets have been adopted, at least four had to be humanely euthanized because of their severe medical conditions.
Deputy District Attorney James Young of the Environmental – Code Enforcement Unit is prosecuting this case.