Salinas man arrested for stealing dog, Kato and setting him on fire

On Thursday morning, a Salinas man was arrested and charged with allegedly stealing a dog and setting in on fire. The black and white pit bull, named Kato, had been stolen from his home in Soledad earlier in the week.

According to The Californian, Devonte Marquis Sirwet Perea, 22, has been charged with animal cruelty after a Soledad police officer found the severely burned dog just outside of the city limits. The pup, named Kato had burns over 90% of his body and was rushed to a veterinary hospital where he was humanely euthanized due to the extent of his suffering caused by the burns.

“The pain and terror this poor dog endured must have been unimaginable,” spokesperson for the SPCA in Monterey County stated. “No living being should ever suffer like that. We are thankful to the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office for locating the suspect, and thankful to our community for the outpouring of support over t his horrific case of animal cruelty.”

The Monterey County Sheriff’s Office located Sirwet Perea’s vehicle in a Salinas Walmart parking lot; he was arrested in Chinatown in the possession of 1.7 grams of heroin.

Investigators have not given a motive for the crime. Tragically, Kato had been a loved family pet and no one knows at this time why he was tortured.

Anyone with further information is asked to contact the SPCA for Monterey County at 831.373.2631 or

(Photos of Salinas man and Kato via Monterey County Sheriff’s Office)

Rest in peace Kato.

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