He's the one guy you'd expect to love and care for dogs. But prosecutors allege that Charles Ferguson, owner of J.R. Ewing Guard Dogs, abused his pooches.

Ferguson, who denies the allegations, goes on trial today, and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles (spcaLA) will be watching expectantly:

The group says an anonymous tip led to Ferguson's arrest last November. According to spcaLA:

… An interagency investigation … unearthed evidence of starvation and painful deaths of working dogs at J.R. Ewing Guard Dogs Inc.

The suspect faces five felony counts of animal cruelty and nine misdemeanor counts of the same. If convicted, he could face nearly 20 years behind bars and $280,000 in fines.

Jury selection starts this morning at the Compton Courthouse.

spcaLA president Madeline Bernstein says:

When our organization began in 1877, we prevented horses from being worked to death on the streets of Los Angeles; 135 years later, spcaLA continues to seek justice for abused and neglected animals in our community.

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Dennis Romero on Twitter at @dennisjromero. Follow LA Weekly News on Twitter at @laweeklynews.

Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.

LA Weekly