GARDENA, Calif., Nov. 2 (UPI) -- The lawyer for a former California guard dog company owner, given three years' probation for animal cruelty, says his client never meant "any harm to any dog."
Charles Ferguson, 52, of Gardena, was sentenced Friday after being convicted this year for neglecting four of the dogs he owned by depriving them of drink and shelter, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Ferguson was barred from owning any dogs for 10 years.
Steven K. Hauser, Ferguson's attorney, said he's pleased with the sentence.
"He's not a criminal," Hauser said. "He did not intend any harm to any dog, he just didn't take proper care of them."
Deputy District Attorney Christopher Frisco said if Ferguson is caught violating any condition of his suspended sentence, he could be sent to prison for four years.
"I'm glad we're finally taking these types of cases seriously," Frisco said. "All animals are worthy of protection."