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A Racine man is facing 15 misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty charges after he abandoned his home leaving behind three dogs and two cats, according to a criminal complaint filed by the Racine County District Attorney’s Office.

Marco Lopez, 52, was charged by the Racine County District Attorney’s Office with five counts of animal mistreatment – intentional or negligent violation, five counts of failing to offer proper food and drink to confined animals, and five counts of negligently providing improper shelter sanitation standards.

If convicted on all charges, Lopez faces up to 11 years three months in prison and/or fines up to $150,000.

According to the criminal complaint, officers with the Racine Police Department responded to a report of a dog being abandoned in a residence at 1628 Thurston Ave. at 11:05 a.m. Nov. 19. Hearing the dog howling and it seeming to be in distress, officers forced entry into the home where they found three dogs and two cats living inside the abandoned home. The heat and electricity had been turned off, the animals had no access to food and water, and there were “feces and urine all throughout the home.”

The dog that was howling was a male husky that had been implanted with a microchip, and Lopez was listed as the owner of the home and the dog. The animals were taken to the Wisconsin Humane Society.

Lopez is being held at the Racine County Jail on the charges. His bail has been set for $1,535.

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Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for Patch.com, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.