Dog Owners Blame Pet Deaths and Disappearances on Northern California Auburn K9 Dog Trainer

AUBURN, Calif. (KGO) — Two northern California families are accusing a dog trainer with ties to San Francisco of being responsible for the disappearance and death of their dogs. The same dog trainer is facing misdemeanor animal neglect charges and operating without a kennel license in Nevada County.

While in Placer County, the sheriff’s department recommends that similar charges be filed there.

Auburn’s Megan Badger introduces us to her one-year-old son, Knox.

She got nervous when her 4-year-old French bulldog got jealous of her newborn baby.

“He showed a bit of aggression, so as soon as that happened I considered training,” she said.

RELATED: Bill to Protect Canine Families and Pets from Unqualified Trainers Passes Assembly Committee

Applegate’s Maureen Kelly says her two dogs, Quinn and Luna, grew up best friends.

She wanted them to receive basic training.

“I just wanted basic obedience. I wanted them to sit, obey and come to my commands,” she said.

Badger and Kelly sent their dogs to Auburn K9.

They both say they regretted it.

The two want to know what Auburn K9 dog trainer and co-owner Antoine DeShaun Moore has been doing with their dogs.

RELATED: Families remember lost pets amid renewed calls for dog training industry regulation

“I feel helpless because I can’t physically get Antoine to talk and tell me anything,” Badger said.

Kelly says Quinn and Luna were never the same after returning from Auburn K9.

Physically, she described them as “abused”.

“It was obvious they had been abused,” Kelly said. “They were skinny. They were, they lost weight. They were malnourished. They were dehydrated.”

She says the two seemed nervous and still nervous after their return.

One day, she says, a delivery driver left her door slightly ajar.

RELATED: Bay Area Dog Trainer Sentenced on 4 Counts of Animal Abuse

From the paw prints she saw on the ground, she thinks Luna and Quinn were confronted by a mountain lion.

“When they were found 12 days later…I’m so sorry,” Kelly said. “When they were found 12 days later by a hiker here in the canyon, they were still together and they…and Luna was in one piece, but Quinn, she was in all kinds of different pieces.”

Quinn had been mutilated.

The family believe the two were too weak to defend themselves.

In a phone interview, Moore told 7 On Your Side, “When the dogs left my care, they were fine. I don’t know how I, as an animal trainer, can leave a dog defenseless against a cougar.”

RELATED: Dogs Would Gain Protection in California Under New Dog Trainer Bill

Badger can relate to Kelly’s story. She, too, felt wronged by Moore. Badger hasn’t seen her dog Winston since April, when she dropped him off at Auburn K9.

She woke up one night to notification of a text message from him about her 4.5-year-old French bulldog. She said it read something like this: “‘When I put a leash on him he bit me and scared me and he bit me and ran away,'” Badger said.

It happened at McLaren Park in San Francisco, where Moore’s biography says he grew up.

Moore told 7 On Your Side, “It was an unfortunate situation. I just lost his dog. I didn’t want to lose his dog.”

“I think it’s just the unknown. I think if we found, if we could interview Antoine. If we were told, ‘he’s dead.’ I need this closure or ‘he sold it?’ “Badger said.

No formal charges have been filed against Moore in Placer County, but he remains under investigation.

RELATED: Two dog deaths raise concerns over lack of regulation for dog trainers

Angela Musallam is with the Placer County Sheriff’s Department.

“He engaged in fraud. He tricked many victims into thinking he was going to train their dogs and he took their money. Thousands and thousands of dollars and their dogs were untrained,” he said. said Musallam.

The Placer County Sheriff’s Department forwarded his case to the district attorney’s office for prosecution.

A decision on whether to move forward with the case by the DA is pending.

Auburn’s Jason Doolittle left his dog Liberty with Moore and Auburn K9.

The training did not go as planned, and Moore agreed to extend the training for free.

Then one day, Moore contacted Doolittle to tell him that Nevada County Animal Control was at his house, where he had taken Liberty.

Moore told 7 On Your Side, “One day I overslept and the dog peed in the crate.”

But Doolittle says the Nevada County animal control officer said it differently.

“She told me the conditions were dire. She said our dog Libby was covered in feces and urine. She was in a small travel crate in a garage with no ventilation, the doors were closed. The windows were closed. No air conditioning (ing),” Doolittle said.

Liberty is part of a complaint charging Moore with three counts of “unlawfully allowing the animal to be in a building without proper care and attention.”

A fourth misdemeanor charge charges him with “operating or maintaining a kennel without a proper kennel license.”

The prosecutor’s office said dogs have been seized four times from Moore’s home by animal control since December due to poor living conditions.

Moore says that’s not accurate and says dogs were seized from his home once due to a storm that caused flooding.

A bill by Assemblyman Adrian Nazarian (D – Hollywood Hills) and inspired by 7 On Your Side’s coverage of dog trainers would require dog trainers to disclose their training methods, any licenses they have or the training they have received and mandates the disclosure of all civil judgments and criminal convictions for animal cruelty.

“What this bill is going to do is establish accountability and also the remedy of being able to sue trainers,” the Nazarian Assemblyman said.

Doolittle believes the bill will protect canine families in the future.

“We absolutely wouldn’t have used him if we knew there was no license, if we knew his dogs were seized because of the conditions,” he said.

Nazarian’s bill has already passed the assembly and passed the Senate Judiciary Committee this week.

Check out more stories and videos from Michael Finney and 7 On Your Side.

Do you have a question for Michael and the 7 On Your Side team? Fill out the form HERE!
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