Backyard puppy breeding operation shut down

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Dozens of Maltese dogs were removed from an Encanto home being used as a kennel for the resident’s dog-selling business, county Animal Services officials reported Wednesday.

Animal control officers were tipped off to the illegal operation last weekend when a complaint came in about multiple dogs at a home on Skyline Drive.

Upon arrival, officers said they could smell feces and urine from outside the house.

The property was zoned for up to six dogs, but officers found 44 Maltese and mixed-breed Maltese, Animal Services officials said.

The dogs were sold under the name Flor Fitch Puppy Sales by Matthew Fitch, who agreed to relinquish most of the dogs and was allowed to keep three of the animals that he must get spayed or neutered, said county Animal Services Deputy Director Dan DeSousa.

"This is a backyard breeder who was more concerned about making money than providing the necessary care for the animals on the property,” DeSousa alleged.

He said animal control officers found cages containing numerous small dogs that were unable to move freely.

Several of the dogs will be euthanized by Animal Services because of behavioral problems, authorities said. Most of the dogs had minor medical problems such as hair loss and lack of grooming.

None of the dogs relinquished were spayed or neutered and most are about a year old, although some are up to 8 years old, according to Animal Services.

The dogs are being housed at the department’s animal care facility in Bonita, where they will be available for adoption. For more information on how to adopt one of the dogs, call Animal Services at (619) 767- 2675, or visit

Categories: KUSI