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Unique animal trainer convicted of mistreating his animals

MENAGERIE—A member of Los Angeles County Animal Handle removes a little alligator from a dwelling on Rancho Lane in 2017. Courtesy TOPD

4 yrs after his arrest created headlines throughout Southern California, an unique animal coach discovered with a mini reptilian zoo inside of his Thousand Oaks dwelling has been sentenced to probation.

On June 24, Judge Bruce Youthful ordered Todd Kates to expend 1 calendar year in jail but suspended the total sentence furnished Kates meet up with the terms of his probation.

Young granted Kates a conditional revocable release right until Dec. 14, when he is demanded to surface prior to the decide and offer an update on his progress.

Kates, 60, pleaded no contest last month to eight misdemeanor counts relevant to the mistreatment of animals, courtroom records display, a far cry from the 40-moreover charges—including 14 felonies—laid out in the district attorney’s initial criminal grievance.

Among the the disorders of his suspended sentence: He ought to entire a application that is developed to rehabilitate individuals who mistreat animals.

Deputy DA Jillian Ewan, guide prosecutor, was unavailable for comment, and Kates’ protection lawyer, Ronald Lewis, did not return phone calls seeking remark for this story.

Designed-for-Television arrest

A tip to the media in July 2017 about an early morning raid on Kates’ house on Rancho Lane—a primarily grime street involving Rancho Road and E. Hillcrest Drive—produced photographs of deputies top Kates from the house in handcuffs and of Los Angeles County Animal Care and Handle staff confiscating alligators, snakes, lizards and birds.

Authorities taken out a lot more than 80 venomous snakes and 8 young American alligators from the 50 percent-acre lot established considerably back from the highway. Animal handle officials reported at the time that some of the animals were saved in inhumane problems. A single animal, a red-tailed hawk, was observed with a damaged beak.

Just after the arrest, quite a few of Kates’ friends arrived to his protection, expressing he was an animal lover who would choose in creatures, normally injured, that desired a house.

Although some neighbors suspect that Kates was the proprietor of a deadly white monocled cobra that escaped for three times in 2015 in the similar neighborhood, the allegation has under no circumstances been proved.

The snake now lives at the San Diego Zoo.

Of the eight charges Kates’ was convicted on, 5 pertained to overloading shelters, depriving animals of foods, drink or shelter or or else subjecting them to pointless struggling. The remaining a few concerned facility or caging expectations.

This story was updated at 10:05 p.m. Mon., Aug 30, 2021. A prior version said that Mr. Kates would have to serve jail time as part of his sentence.