Kennel owner chooses to go to trial on animal cruelty, neglect charges

Daily Herald report
Updated 6/3/2021 7:01 PM
A previous version gave an incorrect location for the kennel, and the number of counts the defendant faces.

The owner of a West Chicago-area kennel where dozens of dogs died in a fire in 2019 will have a bench trial Sept. 28 on 28 misdemeanor charges of animal cruelty and neglect. Garrett Mercado, 31, of Woodridge is accused of abusing and neglecting several dozen dogs in 2018 and 2019, including an allegation he left some of the dogs alone, for five hours, the night of the fire. In May, Mercado changed his mind about accepting a plea agreement, on two of the counts, that would have required him to be on probation for two years.

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