SAN TAN VALLEY, Ariz. (KSAZ) - A San Tan Valley man has been arrested for allegedly hanging a 6-month-old dog by its hind legs inside a horse stable.
The Pinal County Sheriff's Office says 51-year-old Martin Benavidez was arrested after authorities received a phone call from a neighbor saying the dog was hung up by its hind legs and appeared to be in great pain.
The neighbor told deputies she heard the dog whimpering from inside her house and saw the dog hanging upside down through a fence at the home near Skyline Drive and Judys Road.
"When deputies arrived at the property where the dog was seen hanging, they found the dog cowering under a table in a covered horse pen," Sheriff Paul Babeu said. "It was no longer hanging, but was clearly injured, as it could not walk."
Benavidez told deputies he was training the dog but not hurting it.
"This is a horrific case of animal abuse and for the owner to think he was training the dog is absurd," Sheriff Babeu said. "The dog was being tortured, not trained."
The dog had swelling and rope marks on its hind legs and has been taken into custody by Pinal County Animal Control.
The dog, which has been named "Spur," is recovering from its injuries.
Benavidez has been released pending a review of the case by the County Attorney.