A man who was caught on video tossing his dog over a fence at a cell tower in Riverside County has been arrested, authorities said.
Robert Ruiz Jr., 30, was arrested Thursday on suspicion of willfully abandoning his dog, the Riverside County Department of Animal Services said in an update.
He was booked on suspicion of felony animal cruelty and misdemeanor abandonment.
Ruiz was caught on video hurling his dog, an 8-year-old pit bull mix, over a fence in the Winchester area on Dec. 15.
“The dog’s back paws clip the razor wire as he somersaults to a hard landing on the dirt. That act is why Animal Services is seeking felony animal cruelty,” officials detailed.
The dog, previously named TO, was examined and treated for mucus discharge from both his eyes.
He was renamed Ken and eventually found a new home.
Authorities were able to identify Ruiz because the dog was microchipped. He was being sought until finally being arrested before 1 p.m. Thursday at a Winchester home where he was living.
A 1-year-old female pit bull mix was found at the home and believed to be owned by Ruiz, officials said. That dog was seized and taken to a San Jacinto animal shelter.
Video from the arrest shows a Riverside County Sheriff’s Department deputy patting down Ruiz while an Animal Services officer tells him what he did was “very improper.”
Ruiz allegedly abandoned another dog that Animal Services officers are trying to find.
“There was some very good partnership with this high-profile cruelty investigation and we’re always thankful for that from our friends in law enforcement,” said Riverside County Animal Services Director Erin Gettis said, who previously called the incident “careless” and “shocking.”
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