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Auto Repair Owner Pleads Not Guilty to Animal Cruelty

March 30, 2000

SOUTH LOS ANGELES — The owner of a local auto repair shop has pleaded not guilty to three counts of animal cruelty for allegedly neglecting three guard dogs that were so emaciated and infected with parasites that they had to be killed.

A Van Nuys Superior Court judge set bail at $20,000 for Jose Gonzalez Lopez, 52, the owner of JM Smog Check at 7301 S. Central Avenue. A trial is scheduled for April 13.

Investigators for the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said Lopez's three shepherd-Labrador mix dogs--two males and a female--were found in a feces-littered pen at the shop, weak from malnutrition and exposure to exhaust fumes.

Society investigators say Lopez used motor oil to treat skin infections on the dogs.

The dogs were taken to Beverly Oaks Animal Hospital in Sherman Oaks for treatment but had to be euthanized when they did not respond to medicine and a special diet.

Lopez entered the plea Tuesday.

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