Arrest Made in Riverside County Animal Shelter Break-In

Authorities have arrested a 42-year-old Riverside man in connection with a Jurupa Valley animal shelter break-in that left several dogs dead and a dozen others missing. The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department announced the arrest Thursday, saying John Ernest Johnson had been taken into custody and booked at the Robert Presley Detention Center at around 7:45 a.m. Johnson is being charged with vandalism, burglary and animal cruelty.

According to sheriff’s Captain Jason Horton, the motive for the crime was the release of three dogs who were being held in quarantine and were likely to be euthanized.

"We feel this person came to steal those dogs to prevent them from possibly suffering that fate," Horton said during a press conference Wednesday.

The subsequent release of 20 other canines and the chaos that ensued was merely a ruse to throw investigators off track, authorities said. Sadly, Johnson’s actions resulted in the death of at least 4 dogs—two of whom were found dead at the shelter and another two who were later hit by cars.

Read more about Thursday’s arrest here.

Image Credit: Flickr User 124963567@N02, (CC BY-SA 2.0)