TULARE COUNTY, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – A man arrested in connection to alleged animal abuse in Tulare County had the charges filed against him, according to the Tulare County District Attorney’s Office.

Officials say 51-year-old Cesar Flores was charged with 44 felony counts of cruelty to animals. He was arraigned on the charges on Thursday afternoon and pleaded not guilty. The court released Flores on supervised own recognizance with a GPS monitor.

According to officials, prosecutors raised concerns about his release for the safety of the animals. The court imposed conditions that Flores must stay at least 100 yards away from his property and the animals. He is not allowed to possess animals and must make regular contact with probation.

On December 6, the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office Ag Crimes detectives were called to investigate a possible animal abuse case on the 25300 block of Avenue 220 in Lindsay. Upon their arrival, deputies say detectives found 48 horses, 13 cows, and dozens of dogs and puppies in need of care on two different parcels of land.

Deputies say that Ag detectives worked in partnership with the Tulare County Animal Control, and personnel from the Pacific Crest Veterinary Clinic. After an investigation, it was revealed that the majority of the horses and cattle were determined to be malnourished and in need of urgent care. Two horses were found dead and one cow had to be euthanized on-site.

The remaining animals have been accounted for and will receive medical care, according to Animal Control and Veterinary Services.

Through their investigation, detectives determined that Flores was the owner of the property and animals. He was arrested at that time for at least 40 counts of animal cruelty and neglect.

Officials say Flores is scheduled to return to court on December 22 in Department 18 for a preliminary hearing setting. According to the current California laws, if convicted Flores faces probation or a potential local time prison sentence.

Anyone with any information regarding this case is asked to please contact the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department Ag Crime detectives at 559-733-6218.