A Phoenix man has been accused of abusing his tiny pug by hanging the dog several times from its leash off the floor. Netzer Villagomez, 19, was arrested on Wednesday and charged with felony animal cruelty charge with intent to injure the dog; the first case under the new law, according to the Arizona Humane Society
On Monday, an Arizona Humane Society Animal Cruelty Investigator responded to a suspected case of animal cruelty involving the Pug, Miso. The dog was transported to AHS trauma hospital where x-rays revealed that he has two fractured ribs, a fractured pelvis and a fractured tooth. Bloodwork also revealed elevated liver values consistent with acute injuries.
Villagomez sent videos of himself abusing the dog to another person from his cellphone. The dog, an emotional support pet, will remain with the Arizona Humane Society.
The case against Villagomez marks the first in the state under the new anti-cruelty law that went into effect on Aug. 27. The law now imposes stiffer penalties on animal abusers. In the past, the crime would have been a Class 6 felony with up to a year in jail. The new law increases animal cruelty charges to a Class 5 felony; those cases can no longer be dropped to a misdemeanor and also include the possibility of jail time and supervised probation/treatment.
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