In Garland, Texas, a backyard surveillance camera captured a would-be burglar bash a tiny Maltese puppy to death because the dog barked at him. Fermin Rivera, 28, was convicted of animal cruelty for killing P.J., a 4-month-old dog, in September at a Garland home. On Wednesday, Rivera was sentenced to four years in prison.
According to the Dallas News, Guadalupe Gonzalez had been at home on September 22, 2016 when her surveillance cameras picked up the actions of a man who had climbed over the fence into the woman’s backyard. Guadalupe opened the door to confront the stranger, and that is when she saw the man had been holding her tiny puppy. She ran in the house and called 911.
Police described what happened as Rivera cornered the barking puppy, who had scampered underneath a patio table to hide. Twice, he lifted the dog over his head and then smashed the defenseless animal onto the concrete patio slab with all of his strength. As if that wasn’t enough, while little P.J. had been gravely injured and was dying, Rivera grabbed a shovel and began digging a hole in the backyard to bury the still alive dog – placing concrete decorative blocks and a plant on top.
When police arrived, Rivera was arrested and stated he had been at home of Guadalupe’s home because someone had been chasing him. Police said he had planned to break into the home where the woman lived with her three young children. At the time of Rivera’s arrest, Guadalupe didn’t know what had happened to her puppy; that is until she watched the disturbing video. Necropsy results stated P.J. died of trauma and a broken neck.
In court, Rivera’s defense attorney stated his client didn’t know what he was doing that day because he had been high on methamphetamines for 36 hours prior to him breaking into the family’s yard. Prosecutors asked for the maximum sentence of ten years stating he is likely to offend again. At sentencing, Gonzales said she panics whenever she sees a stranger walking by her home. She had hoped Rivera would have received the maximum penalty.
Rest in peace P.J.
(Photos via screenshots of Maltese puppy via surveillance videos and booking info)
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