Warning: Some viewers might find the images and details of this story disturbing.
Santa Ana Police arrested a man on Sunday after he allegedly bound a dog with electrical wires and bungee cords before repeatedly kicked the animal.
Around 10:20 p.m. officers received a 911 call reporting that a small dog that was being abused behind the businesses located at 431 East First Street. The caller told authorities that a male Hispanic adult had used wires to tie the dog’s legs and was kicking him repeatedly. Officers were directed by the witness to the area and found the suspect, Jose Manuel Pantoja, 28, standing over the small dog.
Pantoja was immediately taken into custody by officers without incident.
Officers found the small brown male Chihuahua with a bungee cord around his throat and chest. The dog also had multi-colored electrical wire around his legs. Officers transported the injured dog to Orange County Emergency Pet Clinic for treatment. The dog had multiple visible injuries.
Pantoja was transported to SAPD Jail where he was booked for cruelty to animals. Pantoja reportedly informed officers the dog did not belong to him and that it was just following him around and he did not know whose it was.
On Monday, officers were able to identify the dog’s owners. The small dog had escaped their yard after someone had left the gate open. The family was distraught and had been looking for their dog throughout the night. The 13-year-old dog “Max” has been with the family since he was a small puppy and is considered a member of the family.
SAPD reunited Max with his family on Tuesday afternoon.