STOCKTON -- Three dogs are now safe in the care of Stockton-based rescue group Second Chance Kitty after the group says someone sexually abused two of the dogs.
"We want them to be heard. They don't have a voice. No one can do anything, because no one said anything, because they don't have a voice, they're only dogs," Lizet Avila of Stockton said.
Avila said the dogs used to stay in a yard on East Charter Way in the southern part of the city. She filed a police report over the weekend when she found them in bad shape.
"She was stumbling, we believe she was drugged because of the way she was walking," Avila said of one of the dogs.
Emma the brown terrier and Ava the pit bull were both sexually abused. Lobo, a white husky, has a small cut on his inner right thigh. All of them are recovering at the Venetian Pet Hospital.
"Their vaginal areas are swollen and there's been severe trauma," said Regina Sanchez, a volunteer with Second Chance Kitty.
Avila claims Mario Rivera and his cousin rented out the dogs to strangers.
"On social media they're posting that me and my cousin are abusing these dogs but that's not the case," Rivera said in Spanish.
He claims the allegations against him are not true and that he and his cousin did not abuse the animals in any way. He is also upset that his picture, along with his cousin's, and all of their information, including their address and identification cards, were posted on social media.
We also asked Rivera if he ever rented out the dogs.
"No, I was not paid. I did not get any money," Rivera said.
He claims another man who knew the dogs' owner stopped by to pick them up. He claims he also went to the police department on Monday to file a report. He told the rescue group he would cooperate with investigators.
As for animal rescuers, they say this case has been heartbreaking. While the dogs are doing better, Ava the pit is pregnant. They're hoping to save not only her but her pups, as well.
Instagram took down the photos of Rivera and his cousin's identifications. The person who uploaded the pictures says she's upset, but it was her way of pushing authorities to investigate. As for the investigation, the police department says animal services just began their investigation so they could not release any details yet.