Garrido Stray Rescue Foundation organizes court advocates for cases involving suspects accused of abusing or killing dogs
by BRIAN NADIG
Since 2018 the Garrido Stray Rescue Foundation has had court advocates at the hearings of seven suspects accused of killing or abusing a dog, and the foundation believes the presence of these volunteers is helping to bring about justice.
“The prosecutors and judge know we’re listening,” said John Garrido, who along with his wife Anna founded the foundation in 2017. “When the case is called, the advocates stand until the judge asks them to please be seated.”
Last month 21 advocates attend a hearing in which a man was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in jail for killing a miniature pinscher, Bailey, who was tortured and crushed to death, and a dozen more advocates were listening to the hearing online, according to Garrido. The suspect was a former boyfriend of the dog’s owner, he said.
Advocates also attended a hearing for a man accused of abandoning his dog in an apartment he had vacated, Garrido said. Ethan had been alone in the apartment for three weeks and had to be nursed back to good health and now has a new home, Garrido said.
In another case, the plea agreement included a payment that the suspect has to make to the foundation for the medical expenses incurred for the rescued dog, Ollie, who has to be moved around in a wheelchair and lives in a foster home, and several foundation volunteers visit each week to help Ollie exercise and have fun, Garrido said.
The most advocates to attend a hearing was 110 for a case in which a woman received felony probation for breeding dogs and letting them starve after they were no longer needed, Garrido said. One of the dogs, Frank, reportedly had been left to die in a stairwell, but the foundation helped him recover.
Another case involved a golden retriever named Charlie that had been tortured with boiling water but later recovered, Garrido said.
The foundation deals with about 300 dogs a year, either reuniting lost dogs with their owners or finding new homes for abandoned and abused pets. The foundation has a stray-hold agreement with the city’s Animal Care and Control.
More information about the foundation is available at www.garridostrayrescue.org