Reno Yohai, Arguably South Florida's Worst Dog Owner, Keeps 34 Caged Pit Bulls In Fetid Home
|Reno Yohai says he saves pit bulls, but neighbors disagree|
Even locked away, however, he thought of pit bulls. And upon his release from -Everglades Correctional Institution, he took up the collection once again. His mother had died. So had Warlock. "It took me a while to get back on my feet. But people in the pit bull community were ready to give me the dogs, and Warlock Kennels just happened." In the mid-2000s, after spending years aspiring to live in a larger place to house more dogs, he moved into his West Park home on a quiet street overlooking Lake Margaret.
Problems with neighbors began right away. Next door was Maritza Garcia, who's lived in a pristine yellow home for two decades. She remembers their first meeting. "He told us he was an animal rescue, and back then, it was even worse," she says. "He had a girlfriend, and she had 32 Chihuahuas -- on top of his 30 pit bulls."
In 2007, the City of West Park began slapping Yohai with a daily fine for a bevy of code violations, including raising pit bulls in a residential zone and allowing his property to atrophy. The next year, Yohai told police that three men armed with shotguns had stormed his house and stolen 11 pit bulls.
Neighbors began calling the county Animal Control. "Multiple dogs die every month, and he abuses others," says nearby resident Brenda Paisao, who says she visits the house every day. "I saw one puppy pulled out of the cage, and the puppy broke its leg."
Adds one Animal Control expert who probed the home in 2012 and requested anonymity for this story: "Broward County has the shittiest pet laws, and the officers are limited in what they can do," she says. "The real reason Animal Control hasn't stepped in is because all of the pit bulls will be put down [if they're taken. The shelter doesn't] have space for the dogs."
That fact represents the only common ground between Yohai and his detractors. "I know we don't live in the best conditions, but it's all we can afford," he explains, claiming he wants to adopt out the dogs. "The animal activists try to stop me without offering any help. I'm trying to keep these dogs alive."
But what sort of life is it?