23 dogs rescued from hot car at border crossing

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BONITA, Calif. — Several puppies and adult dogs rescued from a hot car at the border crossing in San Ysidro and taken to a county shelter in Bonita will be available for adoption Tuesday.

Nearly two dozen canines, mostly ranging from 2 to 6 months old, were found Saturday afternoon inside crates in the vehicle. U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials thought they were dead at first.

They appeared to revive when exposed to fresh air, but two required veterinary attention. Those two recovered and joined the other dogs at the county shelter in Bonita.

The driver of the SUV said the dogs were last given water about 5½ hours before he was stopped at the border, according to Animal Services Director Dawn Danielson.

“The driver said he picked up the dogs in Tijuana and was taking them to Los Angeles, but we don’t know what the final outcome of these animals would have been,” Danielson said. “Under federal regulations, it’s illegal to import animals under 6 months old for resale.”

The driver, Daniel Canedo, was arrested on suspicion of 23 misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty, authorities said.

Some of the puppies — among them shepherds, Labradors, Chihuahuas, hounds and terrier mixes — were taken in by rescue groups. Other puppies and the adult dogs will be available for adoption from the Bonita shelter beginning Tuesday.

The county’s southern region shelter at 5821 Sweetwater Road will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday. According to the county’s Department of Animal Services, adoption fees for most puppies or an adult dogs that are younger than 5 are $69 and include vaccinations, a one-year license and a spay/neuter voucher, if needed.