CHICAGO — The probation sentence for the owner of a suburban dog kennel that went up in flames in 2019 has been thrown out.
Garrett Mercado, 32, of Woodridge, was found guilty of three counts of animal cruelty and six counts of violation of owner’s duties in 2021. 29 dogs died were killed in the 2019 fire.
Mercado, who owned Bully Life Animal Services, formally called D&D Kennels, lived above the kennel in the 2N100 block of North County Farm Road. He was not home at the time of the fire on Jan. 14, 2019, police said.
The state’s attorney said investigators found stacked in cages without adequate water or food at the kennel and some dogs were tethered in a manner restricting their movement.
The state’s attorney said the investigation also found the dogs died as a result of Mercado’ leaving the kennel for approximately five hours, at which time a fire broke out.
Investigators also determined numerous dogs were mistreated suffering puncture wounds, lacerations, abrasions, weight loss, muscle wasting and dehydration.
Mercado was originally sentenced to six years probation in 2021, but an appeals court ruled that the sentence was too much and Mercado should have received two years probation.
According to the Daily Herald, a DuPage County State’s Attorney has been looking into appealing that decision to the Illinois Supreme Court.