Animal-rescue operator won't face charges for now

Animal-rescue operator won't face charges for now »Play Video
Duaine Preitz talks Monday, Jan. 9, 2012, from Kern County jail about his arrest after calling Kern County Animal Control for assistance with his rescue operation.

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — A Mojave Desert animal-rescue operator won't face cruelty charges for the time being.

The Kern County District Attorney's office declined to file charges against 61-year-old Duaine Preitz after county animal control officers couldn't supply requested information in a timely manner, according to animal control.

Ron Brewster, animal control interim division manager, said Tuesday that they hope to gather the requested information, resubmit the case and see charges filed.

Preitz was arrested late last week after officers found what they said was a "large number" of ill and distressed animals on his property.

Preitz called animal control himself, asking it to help find new homes for some of his 215 animals after the county denied his required operating permit.

"I've spent hundreds of thousands of dollars," he said of his rescue operation, Best of Buddies Inc., during a jailhouse interview Monday night with Eyewitness News. "I've spent 13 years of my life. I've placed 2,000 dogs just in the last five years. I've given up everything, and you are arresting me?"

The ill and distressed animals were taken for emergency care immediately. All of the animals - Dogs, cats, horses, pigs, ducks and chickens - were taken over the weekend to temporary housing at the Kern County Fairgrounds in Bakersfield.