UPDATE, AUG. 4, 8:37 A.M.: At Orange County Superior Court in Westminster Wednesday, Jaime Arturo Garcia pleaded not guilty to slitting his dog's throat and setting fires in the Stanton home he shares with his sister.
ORIGINAL POST, AUG. 3, 8:44 A.M.: Jaime Arturo Garcia is scheduled to be arraigned in Westminster this morning on charges of animal cruelty and intentionally setting fires inside an inhabited dwelling.
The afternoon of July 24, Garcia is accused of closing all the doors and windows of the Stanton house he shared with his sister (who was not home) and setting several small fires by lighting piles of clothing on fire. When the fires burned out without spreading, the 30-year-old allegedly fed various pills to his dog, Dexter, in an attempt to poison the dog.
Then Garcia is said to have done something really sick.
He allegedly picked up a large kitchen knife and slit the 7-year-old dachshund mix's throat. The bleeding pooch ran around the house and into Garcia's bedroom, where he died on the bed. Garcia is now looking at felony counts of animal cruelty and arson of an inhabited property, a misdemeanor count of unlawfully causing a fire to property and eight years and four months in state prison if he's convicted.
Garcia's case also brings to mind other recent instances of doggone animal cruelty in Orange County. Note that any flea collectors pictured on this page and the next are representations, not the actual victims (who are shown in the videos):
Upset with the barking of a neighbor's dog in Mission Viejo, 51-year-old Michael Stuart Patterson kicked open the home's front door in November 2010 while yelling, "I'm going to kill you, and I'm going to kill your dog." He walked through the unoccupied home to the back patio, where he confronted Honey, whacking the 5-year-old German shepherd with a garden rake that permanently blinded and punctured the face of the dog. Patterson recently pleaded guilty to one felony count of first degree residential burglary and one felony count of animal cruelty. His sentence reads four years in state prison, but that time is stayed pending successful completion of 180 days in jail and three years of formal probation. He also has an Oct. 13 hearing in Newport Beach to determine the amount of restitution he must pay.
In September of 2010, Phoenix the earless German shepherd received a last-minute reprieve. He was about to be euthanized at a Downey shelter when he was saved by Coastal German Shepherd Rescue and taken to Alicia Pet Care Center in Mission Viejo. Authorities believe Phoenix was used as a "bait" dog: passive animals that are used to train fighting dogs.
Kimberly Nizato, a kennel assistant at an Irvine veterinary hospital, gave her ailing 3-year-old German shepherd to an acquaintance in the spring of 2010. The dog, who weighed only 37 pounds, was turned over to German Shepherd Rescue of Orange County, whose veterinarian discovered the dog had not been fed food and survived by eating dirt and rocks--presumably around the tree he had been tied up to outside Nizato's Bellflower home. She was later arrested and pleaded no contest to felony animal cruelty on June 28. Rescuers named the dog Courage.
Sheriff's deputies arrived at the Rancho San Clemente Tennis Club the morning of Dec. 30, 2009, to find the laughing maintenance man at right, Bayron Reyes Lopez, lying nude on his stomach in a pool of hot coffee. That's where he'd been chased to after picking up Kokanee by the neck, choking out the 5-year-old miniature schnauzer and slamming the dog's head against a concrete sidewalk numerous times, killing Kokanee. The 26-year-old pleaded guilty last year to one felony count of animal cruelty and one felony count of vandalism, which earned him a year in jail, three years probation and a trip back to Mexico.
Unfortunately, when you click play, you'll get a message informing YouTube yanked the video for "violating" the terms of service. What it showed was a female repeatedly punching, choking and strangling her small dog. The backstory: In 2008, theWeekly
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'sR. Scott Moxley
went to the Santa Ana Police Department three times to report a neighbor's dog abuse. Animal Control officers told him his word wasn't good enough, that he needed evidence proving the abuse. So, one day in July of that year, he videotaped the footage that had been posted on YouTube. He also immediately called a local animal cruelty organization, whose rep suggested he again contact Santa Ana PD. An officer there told Moxley they were too busy to listen to his report but suggested he "try to call" tomorrow.