Yakima police say a man from South Fourth Avenue brutally killed and mutilated a dog on his property.
Police were alerted after a video was posted on social media showing a dog hanging from a fence on the 700 block of South Fourth Avenue. An officer went to the house on Monday and found three dogs who appeared to be in good health according to a likely affidavit.
The 27-year-old suspect told officers that two of the dogs were his and the other belonged to someone else and denied that there was a dog hanging on the fence, the affidavit read.
After leaving the house, the officer said another man came up to him and showed him a picture of a small black dog with its paws tied up in the driveway, the affidavit said. The man told the officer he believed the dog he saw on Sunday was dead, the affidavit said.
This man said the suspect told him the dog was a stray dog that came into the yard a few days ago.
The city animal welfare officer went to the house and the suspect said the smaller dog was attacked by his dogs and he had to kill him because he was so badly injured, the affidavit said.
On Wednesday, the police went back to the house to retrieve the dog’s remains. The suspect went to get the dog and went to a crawl space under the house.
The animal welfare officer and two veterinarians examined the dog’s remains and said his injuries were incompatible with a dog attack.
Police arrested the suspect on suspicion of first degree animal cruelty and are expected to appear in Yakima District Court on Friday afternoon.
Judge Richard Bartheld allowed the suspect to be released under the county’s preliminary release program due to his lack of criminal record, but acknowledged the gravity of the crime.
“The allegations in this case are hideous,” said Bartheld, “especially if you are an animal lover like many in this community.”
As a condition for his release, Bartheld ordered the suspect to hand over all dogs in his care to the Yakima Humane Society or a private kennel. He said humane society could put the dogs up for adoption unless the man pays to care for them.
Bartheld also ordered the man not to have any contact with domesticated animals until the case was resolved. Any violation leads to the suspect going back to prison, warned Bartheld.