Misdemeanor charges expected against man accused of throwing away dog

(CNS) – Charges are expected to be filed Tuesday against a 30-year-old man suspected of hurling his dog over a barbed wire fence at a cell phone tower in Winchester and leaving him inside the fence.

Robert Arturo Ruiz Jr. from Winchester was arrested Thursday and committed to Byrd Detention Center in Murrieta on suspicion of felony animal cruelty and willful abandonment. Ruiz is being held in lieu of $15,000 bail.

Animal inspectors have submitted the case to the public prosecutor’s office for review.

According to Department of Animal Services spokesman John Welsh, sheriff’s deputies and agents tracked Ruiz down to a residence in the 33000 block of Leon Road in Winchester, where he was taken into custody without incident.

He is suspected of throwing his 8-year-old dog, formerly named “KO”, inside the mobile phone security perimeter on a hilltop near Flossie Way and Pourroy Road on Dec. 15, leaving the dog trapped in space without food, water or shelter.

“We were all extremely disturbed to see such a careless act against an innocent animal,” said Department of Animal Services director Erin Gettis. “This incident was very shocking.”

Robert Ruiz Jr.  WinchesterA video of the suspect’s arrest is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LlVA8LwQ_U&feature=youtu.be.

Surveillance camera footage of the alleged act of abandonment can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQMZEVtEwbo .

Welsh said a 1-year-old female pit bull mix was at Ruiz’s residence and the pet was confiscated and confiscated from the San Jacinto Valley Animal Campus. It was not immediately known whether the suspect would be able to reclaim the dog when and whether he posts bail.

Welsh said Ruiz may have abandoned another dog, though authorities are still investigating that matter.

KO, who was renamed “Ken” by veterinary staff, was adopted by a woman less than a week after footage of his abandonment circulated.

Welsh said tower maintenance workers luckily arrived at the site where the dog had been abandoned within hours to find him dehydrated and oozing mucus from both eyes, but otherwise fine.

The crew supplied the pit with water — he swallowed three bottles — and comfort until an animal control officer reached the site and transported him to the Western Riverside County Animal Shelter in Jurupa Valley, Welsh said.

He said Ken needed treatment for the discharge from his eyes, with the right one in the worst condition. There was no word on the cause of the ailments.

According to prison records, Ruiz has unsolved felony cases pending in Superior Court for alleged drunk driving and driving with a suspended license. There was no information about possible previous convictions.

Copyright 2023, City News Service, Inc.

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