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Backyard butcher turns himself in

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Backyard butcher turns himself in

From The Gentle Barn
June 2012

Santa Clarita, CA, (June 26, 2012) - Over the past four years, The Gentle Barn has been monitoring and rescuing animals from an abusive and filthy Southern California backyard butcher. To date, The Gentle Barn has rescued from this location, a horse in horrific and malnourished condition, as well as 14 cows, 32 goats and sheep and 4 turkeys.

After many months working with Los Angeles County Animal Care and Control and the District Attorney, the backyard butcher Roberto Celedon, has pleaded no contest to felony animal cruelty charges, and a misdemeanor for selling illegal meat to the public. Celedon has been sentenced to ninety days in jail and five years probation. He was also ordered to pay $4,000 restitution, to complete 48 animal cruelty classes, not to own, possess, maintain or harbor any animals, not to own, operate or work at any meat-producing facility, not to attend auctions where animals are sold and not to sell any meat products. Celedon's property can be searched at any time by three different agencies to ensure there will no longer be animals suffering on his property.

All of the animals have been removed from his property and are now being rehabilitated at The Gentle Barn. The way the animals were being slaughtered for human consumption was ruthless and the public was being sold potentially contaminated meat.

During a raid on Celedon's illegal slaughter facility in Santa Clarita, CA in April of this year, over 23 goats and sheep, 5 cows, and an injured and emaciated horse were confiscated and brought to The Gentle Barn for rehabilitation.

Jay Weiner, President of The Gentle Barn says, "This is yet another example of the kind of inhumane and illegal mistreatment that farm animals are subjected to as a result of backyard butchers across the country. We need to put a stop to this practice and appreciate all the hard work of our volunteers, staff, LA District Attorney, LA County Animal Control Major Case Unit and our loyal donors who have given us the funds we desperately need to care and make these animals well."

Ellie Laks, Founder of The Gentle Barn says, "This is exactly the kind of work that The Gentle Barn does; we speak up for those who have no voice and take a stand for those who are being mistreated. You can make a difference for animals, your health and the environment in your own life by adopting a plant-based diet. Your support enabled us to do this work and achieve this huge victory for animals and the public and your support in the future will allow us to do it again. Please continue to support us, when you do you are saving lives!"

The rescued animals now safe at The Gentle Barn still need medical treatment, top quality nutrition, and round the clock loving care to heal. They will now live the rest of their lives with people who will give them the best care possible.

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This is a tremendous victory, not only for the animals, but for public safety as well. Backyard butchers are not licensed or controlled and are typically abusive and filthy places, selling meat from animals riddled with diseases, some of which are potentially transferable to people.