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(Lancaster, CA) -- A pretrial hearing will be held Thursday at the Antelope Valley Courthouse for the Acton animal trainers charged with abusing 26 dogs that were under their care.
Junior Morales and Natasha Ahmad were arraigned last August and both have pleaded not guilty to animal cruelty charges. The defendants ran a business called Real Deal K-9s. Customers told prosecutors they paid Morales and Ahmad thousands of dollars to take care of their animals and received thin, sick dogs instead.
Several undernourished canines and a pair of dead dogs were discovered by investigators at the defendants' property last May.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office says investigators also discovered a loaded gun inside a sofa in their home where the couple's young children might find it.
Morales faces up to 34 years in prison if convicted. Ahmad could receive a maximum sentence of 21 years behind bars if she's found guilty.