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County Arrests Suspect in Dog Beating Case

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April 29, 2009

County Animal Control Officers arrested 39-year-old Gabriel Miguel Moreno today after Moreno allegedly beat his dog on Sunday with a three-foot-long tree branch.

On Sunday, April 26 at approximately 5:20 p.m., an Animal Control Officer from the County Department of Animal Services responded to a call at the Del Mar Horse Park regarding a dog that had been beaten.

A witness reported the incident after observing a man beating the dog in a horse stall.

When confronted by the witness, the suspect admitted that he had beaten the dog after it ate his lunch. The suspect then fled the scene.

An Animal Control Officer responded to the scene and impounded the dog, described as an Australian Cattle dog with trauma to its left eye. A eucalyptus branch, approximately three feet in length and one inch in diameter, was used in the beating and was seized as evidence.

Animal Services staff was able to identify the owner of the dog through a tag on the dog and information obtained from other people at the Del Mar Horse Park.

The Animal Control Officer contacted the suspect and advised him that his dog was being held at the County Animal Shelter in Carlsbad. Moreno appeared at the shelter today, identified his dog, and was taken into custody.

When questioned by Animal Control Officers, he admitted he struck the dog in the head and shoulders with the eucalyptus branch because the dog had eaten his lunch.

Moreno was taken to the Vista Detention Center and has been booked on felony animal cruelty charges, punishable by imprisonment in state prison, or by a maximum fine of $20,000, or by both the fine and imprisonment.

Moreno turned over ownership of the dog, “Bandito”, this afternoon and the dog is being held at the shelter located at 2481 Palomar Airport Road.

The Department of Animal Services will notify the public when the dog is available for adoption.

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