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Press Release

Aug. 15, 2016

Morongo Valley man who runs pet rescue arrested on animal cruelty charges

Stephen Caro (Booking Photo)

Stephen Caro (Booking Photo)

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.– The owner of a pet rescue who collected money online to care for geriatric dogs was arrested today.

On Aug. 4, 2016, 60-year-old Stephen Caro was charged with 21 felony counts of Cruelty to An Animal. The charges stem from an ongoing investigation into Morongo-based “Paws Pet Ranch” conducted by San Bernardino County Animal Care and Control and the District Attorney’s Animal Cruelty Prosecution Unit.

On June 23, members of San Bernardino County Animal Care and Control confiscated 180 dogs and 2 cats. Ten dogs and both cats had to be euthanized.

According to Deputy District Attorney Debbie Ploghaus, who is assigned to the case, several of the confiscated dogs have already been adopted and animal control is working to find homes for the remaining animals.

Caro was arrested at his residence and booked into the Morongo Valley Detention Center.

“This is a situation in which the defendant misled the public into thinking the money they were donating was being used to care for the dogs at his pet rescue,” District Attorney Mike Ramos said. “Unfortunately, the conditions the animals were forced to live in were absolutely deplorable.”

Click here to download a copy of the complaint.

Contact: Christopher Lee, Public Affairs Officer (909) 382-3665 or via email at or via text at (909) 782-5559




Press Releases - 2016

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It is the mission of the San Bernardino County District Attorney's Office to represent the interests of the people in the criminal justice system, as mandated by California State law. The San Bernardino County District Attorney's Office serves the residents of San Bernardino County by: seeking the truth, protecting the innocent; holding the guilty accountable; preserving the dignity of victims and their families; and, ensuring that justice is done while always maintaining the highest ethical standards.

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