Escondido Resident Pleads Guilty to Killing Mother’s Dog

San Diego Humane Society Leads the Animal Cruelty Investigation

August 28, 2015: SAN DIEGO — On August 18, Francisco Villegas pled guilty to one 597(a) P.C. felony count for animal cruelty for the death of his mother’s dog, a miniature poodle named Lex. San Diego Humane Society’s Humane Officers responded to a call from the Escondido Police Department of the deceased animal found in the defendant’s mother’s home. Subsequent investigation determined that Lex died of blunt force trauma, possibly from an iron.

Francisco Villegas, who was on parole at the time of the incident, will serve 7 years in prison.

“We’ll always prosecute to the fullest extent of the law when we find intentional acts of animal cruelty have occurred,” said Steve MacKinnon, Chief of Humane Law Enforcement for San Diego Humane Society. “When an animal is a victim of abuse, they are unable to speak for themselves, so it’s our duty to be the voice for the voiceless in situations like this one.”
Dr. Gary Weitzman, president and CEO of San Diego Humane Society says, “Our Humane Officers are in the field seven days a week responding to claims of animal cruelty and neglect. Our mission is to protect animals and they’re at the forefront of all of it.”

Animal-related concerns can be submitted on San Diego Humane Society’s website or by calling 619.243.3466.

For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact Kelli Schry: 619.250.6801 or [email protected].


About San Diego Humane Society

Serving San Diego County since 1880, San Diego Humane Society’s scope of social responsibility goes beyond adopting animals. San Diego Humane Society offers San Diegans a wide range of programs and services that strengthen the human-animal bond, prevent cruelty/neglect, provide medical care, educate the community on the humane treatment of animals and provide safety net services for all pet families needing assistance with keeping their pets.

As one of San Diego’s oldest nonprofit organizations, San Diego Humane Society has campuses located in Escondido, Oceanside, and San Diego as well as adoption centers inside Petco stores throughout San Diego County. San Diego Humane Society is supported solely through contributions, grants, bequests, investments, proceeds from the Muttique retail store and small fees for services.