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Problems with backyard dog breeding

 February 2, 2023 at 5:00 AM PST

Good Morning, I’m Debbie Cruz….it’s Thursday, February second.

Backyard dog breeding continues to be a big problem on both sides of the border. More on that next. But first... let’s do the headlines….


In her first state of the county address last night, County Chairwoman Nora Vargas said preventing and addressing homelessness is a top priority for the county.

“We need to create a comprehensive strategy to confront the growing homeless epidemic facing our communities.”

She said the county will work with the cities in the region to create rental protections and continue to build more affordable housing.

One of the initiatives Vargas spoke about involves partnering with faith based and community organizations to build cabin style homeless shelters.


The city of San Diego’s sidewalk vending ordinance is now being fully enforced in beach areas.

The ordinance went into effect in Point Loma, O-B, Mission Beach, P-B, La Jolla and Sorrento Valley last month.

But, up until now, vendors were just getting warnings.

As part of the ordinance, vendors must pay 38-dollars for a permit every year.

Food vendors are also required to have a Health

Permit and Food Handler Card.

The ordinance also sets up parameters for where vendors can set up.

Vendors operating illegally can be cited for violations with a fine of up to one-thousand-dollars.

Carts, equipment and goods could also be impounded.


Bed Bath and Beyond is closing its stores in Carlsbad, 4-S Ranch and San Marcos.

The company announced earlier this week that 87 additional stores will be shut down across the country as the company faces bankruptcy .

In August, the company announced they would be closing 150 of its stores.

A date for the closures hasn’t been announced.


From KPBS, you’re listening to San Diego News Now. Stay with me for more of the local news you need.


Even with increased awareness, unscrupulous backyard dog breeding is still a big problem.

KPBS’s Maya Trabulsi investigated a doodle breeder who was able to operate on both sides of the U-S Mexican border, despite allegations of dog abuse.

LAUREN: This is our first baby.  So, this is Lizzie. Hi sweetheart, are you scared, oh she’s so scared.  BOTTICELLI: This is how all of them were to be honest. Lauren Botticelli runs The Animal Pad in La Mesa, one of several animal sanctuaries that took part in a harrowing rescue of more than one hundred dogs from a backyard doodle breeder in Mexico. BOTTICELLI: Every kind of doodle breed you could think about was there. Breeders in Mexico have an impact here because many of the dogs end up being sold in San Diego County.  Botticellli says this situation began with a plea for help on social media about a breeder who was in over her head. BOTTICELLI: It was like no one knew where she was and who she was. The breeder, Annette Rosenow, sent a geographical pin to her breeding facility in Rosarito, a beach town south of Tijuana. BOTTICELLI: When we pulled up, we actually saw it was like a hill of doodles. BOTTICELLI:  There were many many more dogs than she had admitted to essentially. But, once Botticelli saw the state of the compound - and the dogs… BOTTICELLI:I kind of made it a mission to find out more about this woman. The rescues came over a series of visits, taking a few dogs each time.  But only those Rosenow would allow - the ones she deemed “weirdos.” BOTTICELLI: any of the dogs that were going to still make her money that she could profit off of, she wasn't willing to give up. BOTTICELLI:  We saw her throw rocks, throw buckets at the dogs, and we had to bite our tongues in that moment. Rosenow was later arrested by Mexican Municipal police after threatening one of the rescuers. I’m going to kill you. You going to kill me? While Rosenow was in custody the teams got to work to remove the remaining dogs.  But, what they found will haunt them. BOTTICELLI: Annette told me this directly, that they would be fighting over food to the point where they were killing each other.  Any mom that was giving birth. The other dogs were eating the puppies. Dog skulls were found on the property. Several puppies were in a freezer. That’s a skull. Oh my God, the babies. And some dogs were defecating rocks - eaten out of hunger. At first, Rosenow agreed to an interview with KPBS, but then changed her mind.  Instead, she has in recent weeks defended herself through text messages.  She says the puppies in the freezer died of Parvo and that she has no felonies for animal abuse. Rosenow also said she was detained by Mexican immigration authorities and says she’s now in Germany. KPBS was not able to obtain records relating to her arrest or determine whether she was deported from Mexico. This isn’t the first time Rosenow has run afoul of the law. And her activities haven’t been limited to Mexico – for years she ran breeding operations in the U.S. In 2017, the state of New Mexico charged Rosenow with 61 violations relating to license and rabies requirements.  She pleaded guilty to 11 of the counts - fined and sentenced to 23 days in jail.  And a magistrate judge ruled she cannot own animals anywhere in the United States. In 2018, 6 of Rosenow’s dogs died in a hot car in Albuquerque after she says they were abandoned by the person she hired to transport them to Texas.  Charges against Rosenow in that case were dismissed. SULLIVAN: I knew before you even said her name who it was. Cindi Sullivan is director of Torrance County Animal Services in New Mexico.  One of many counties Rosenow is known to have run her breeding business. SULLIVAN: I have so many aliases on this woman. Sullivan is among many who say the problem with Animal Control in the US is breeders who are shut down in one jurisdiction can just move to another county or another state. We work for weeks and months to try to stop these things from happening, and all it takes is for them to move into the next district. WEITZMAN:  There's no question we need a central database. San Diego Humane Society CEO, Dr. Gary Weitzman says breeders will continue to have an easy time evading  law enforcement until there is a way to keep track of them on a national level. WEITZMAN: Right now, it's very casual, and we have to rely on our own colleagues that are in our industry to actually translate what's happening in another region. And that just puts the animals at risk. But there are many doodle buyers that bought a puppy from this backyard breeder and are happy with their adorable dogs. BOTTICELLI And I've told them their dogs are the luckiest ones, but also regret supporting somebody and supporting a situation where other dogs were being hurt in the process. Maya Trabulsi, KPBS News.

And Dr. Weitzman at the San Diego Humane Society says any transaction to sell a puppy or dog on public property is illegal in California.

For more information on what to look for in a good breeder, you can visit s-d-humane-dot-org-slash-breeder.


The F-B-I says violent extremism from within the country poses one of the most persistent threats against the U-S.

A local survey is under way to gauge whether local politicians have turned into targets.

KPBS’s Amita Sharma explains.

The Department of Homeland Security said late last year they were seeing “general calls” for violence against elected officials and candidates. Some were followed through. A New Mexico failed Republican candidate was indicted this week over the December shootings of  two Democratic lawmakers and two commissioners. A year ago, and closer to home, suspected arson scorched the house where San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher lives with his wife– former Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, both Democrats. “ You've had school board members and a variety of school boards who've had protests outside of their houses, receiving on their personal phone lines and in their personal mail, not nice correspondence which is above and beyond like Brown Act open meeting law requirements.” Mesa College Political Science Professor Carl Luna  is spearheading a poll of 300 elected officials in the county to assess if they’re receiving more threats, and whether those threats are becoming more violent. “We're looking at the survey results to see if we can get a handle on just how severe it is. And most importantly, what can we do to both protect First Amendment rights of petition of government and free speech, but also to provide forums in which we can have meaningful civic engagement.” The results are expected to be released in June. The poll is being conducted by the Violence, Inequality and Power Lab at USD’s Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice. Amita Sharma, KPBS News.


The Port of San Diego is halting talks to build a cement warehouse at the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal.

The project would have dramatically increased diesel truck traffic through Barrio Logan.

KPBS Environment reporter Erik Anderson has details.

Mitsubishi Cement Corporation has tried twice to build a warehouse on the Port owned terminal to receive cement making materials brought in by ships.  Those goods would then be trucked to construction locations around Southern California.  The Environmental Health coalition’s Diane Takvorian says local residents were outraged by plans that called for four-thousand to ten-thousand diesel trucks to rumble through Barrio Logan every month. “We have some of the highest diesel pollution and air pollution in Barrio Logan and National City higher than 95 percent of the state of California.” Port officials released a statement on Wednesday that indicated talks ended with Mitsubishi Cement Corporation, but the plan could be revived if the project meets the Port’s clean air goals. Erik Anderson KPBS News


A Black Lives Matter flag is now flying over the San Diego Unified School District headquarters in University Heights.

KPBS Education reporter M.G. Perez has more on the commemoration of Black History month.

This year, San Diego Unified School District officials decided to raise the Black Lives Matter flag to show their commitment to diversity and equality across all campuses. The ceremony included students who shared some of their personal experiences with discrimination and harassment in school...and they also shared their hope for the future. Henry Anderson III is a 7th grader at Millennial Tech Middle School…with big plans to be a lawyer…and then…. “just like Barack Obama…he was a lawyer before he went into office. I’m going to start in my community as a lawyer…and if I become a prestigious lawyer…I feel it would be easy for me to become president.” The district has several other community events planned throughout the month honoring Black History.  MGP KPBS News


Coming up.... The Human Rights Watch Film Festival in San Diego opens tonight with a film about the lack of childcare. We’ll have that story and more, after the break.


San Diego Unified students are missing school at alarming rates,

a trend that could impact district funding and student achievement.

inewsource education reporter, Andrea Figueroa Briseño reports that family services assistants are visiting homes to identify why some students are missing school.

"BRISENO: Nearly a third of San Diego Unified’s students are considered chronically absent. Board member Sabrina Bazzo says the district has noticed the trend especially among students that are economically disadvantaged, homeless or in special education. ABSENTEEISM “Absenteeism has really dramatically increased in our schools, not only locally here in San Diego but statewide and actually throughout the nation since the pandemic.” BRISENO: The district says students that miss school are at greater risk of truancy, doing poorly academically and dropping out of school. For KPBS, I’m inewsource reporter Andrea Figueroa Briseño."

inewsource is an independently funded, nonprofit partner of KPBS.


The Human Rights Watch Film Festival kicks off in San Diego today.

It runs for a week and includes screenings of films about environmental justice, overcoming abuse, and women’s rights.

The festival opens, this evening, with a showing of the film, Clarissa’s Battle.

It documents the tireless efforts of Clarissa Dowtherd as she works for increasing access to childcare and early education for her east Bay community and beyond.

Here’s a clip from the film’s trailer.

The film’s title character, Clarissa Dowtherd, and the film’s director Tamara Perkins spoke with my colleague Jade Hindmon about the inspiration for the film.

CLARISSA- Access to childcare is a personal issue for you. Can you tell us about your own experience and how that moved you to become an advocate for better access to child care and early education?

TAMARA- Tell us more about why you wanted to tell this story and why Clarissa was such an important part of it for you…

CLARISSA- And you see this lack of childcare really as an example of public policy failures. Why?

TAMARA- So the film is being shown at the Museum of Photographic Arts at 6 pm here in San Diego…. Tell us about the screening and what else you have planned.

That was the director of the film, Clarissa’s Battle, Tamara Perkins, along with its title character, Clarissa Dowtherd, speaking with KPBS Midday Edition host Jade Hindmon.

You can find more information about the film at k-p-b-s-dot-org.


That’s it for the podcast today. As always you can find more San Diego news online at KPBS dot org. I’m Debbie Cruz. Thanks for listening and have a great Thursday.

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Even with increased awareness, backyard dog breeding continues to be a big problem on both sides of the border. In other news, a Black Lives Matter flag is now flying over the San Diego Unified School District headquarters in University Heights. Plus, the Human Rights Watch Film Festival in San Diego opens Thursday, with a film about the lack of childcare.