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Man who ran dog 'sanctuary' faces 156 counts of animal cruelty

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According to Wednesday's KFOX 14 News, a Chaparral, N.M., man, who ran a dog sanctuary, has been arrested and charged with 156 counts of animal cruelty.

Felix Moriel, 44, was arrested on Sunday night - he is accused of mistreating, neglecting and injuring the dogs who had been entrusted to his care at the Mission Desert Hills Sanctuary .

Officials raided Morial's Chaparral property in September; at the time, there were an estimated 200 dogs on site.

Six dead puppies were discovered in plastic bags in a freezer, 12 dogs were in "various states of decay" on the property and the many of the surviving dogs had serious, untreated injuries.

According to the Alamogordo News, deputies also discovered piles of dog feces, a lack of shelter, inadequate water and malnourished dogs who were in various states of "bad health."

Moriel has more on his plate than the slew of animal cruelty charges - he is also facing charges for first degree felony kidnapping (or in the alternative fourth-degree felony false imprisonment), along with several misdemeanor counts of battery, aggravated battery, indecent exposure, interference with communications, injuring or tampering with a motor vehicle and resisting, evading or obstructing an officer.

The additional charges are the result of Moriel's alleged attack on an elderly woman who had sought out the man's assistance for burying a deceased dog.

The surviving dogs taken from Moriel's property were transferred to various rescue agencies in the area.

Click here to watch a news clip about this case.

Continue reading: Man reunited with missing dog three years after she disappeared

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