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Turlock family says man posing as animal rescuer went into their backyard

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TURLOCK, Calif. (KTXL) -- A Turlock woman claims she found an intruder in her backyard and when confronted, he claimed he was an animal rescuer working for a nonprofit organization.

Michelle Sandoval said the man told her niece he was only trying to help a black chihuahua.

“She then informed him that he was trespassing and that her dog could bite him and that he needed to get off of her property,” said Michelle Sandoval.

He then handed her an official looking business card with the license number of a nonprofit 501(c)(3).

“He said he was in animal rescue,” Sandoval explained.

The family believed his credibility.

Days later, when a dog matching the stray’s description was found at their neighbor's house, they gave him a call. However, instead of being next door, the man was found back in their backyard.

“I’m not feeling like that she’s very safe at this point,” Sandoval told FOX40.

He left but the family would hear from him once again. Earlier this week, he claimed he had been bitten by their dog.

“Saying that he needs their homeowners insurance because he was bit by their dog and has hospital and doctor bills,” Sandoval said.

Concerned about her niece's safety, Sandoval posted his business card on social media – and the stories began to pile on.

FOX40 spoke to at least five people involved with animal rescues who say the same thing -- the man’s claim that he is involved with a nonprofit organization is just the beginning of his lies.

“Very well-known for being pretty shady,” Sandoval said.

The 501(c)(3) status he so claimed cannot be proven.

“I hope that rescue organizations out there and shelters out there are just acknowledging that this person is not a rescue organization,” said Stanislaus Animal Services Agency Executive Director Annette Patton.

The man told FOX40 he’s being set up and that all claims against him are false. He claimed he did not trespass and that he has a dog bite case pending against Sandoval’s family.

He said he will reveal everything in a report of his own after he gets permission from his attorney.

Sandoval said she is working toward the truth.

“We all need to band together on this and see what this gentleman is up to,” she said. “I do not believe that he is stable.”

The family filed a trespassing report with the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department against the man Thursday afternoon.

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