Prosecutors charged a man with first degree animal cruelty in connection with the brutal killing of a dog on the weekend of July 4th.
Police became aware of Eduardo Reyes-Serrano, 27, after videos were posted on social media showing a dog hanged on the fence of his home at 700 block on South Fourth Avenue, according to court documents. An officer went to the house on July 5 and found three dogs who appeared to be in good health, and Reyes-Serrano denied that there was a dog hanging from the fence, the documents say.
But another man came up to the officer as he was leaving and showed him a picture of a small black dog with its paws tied in Reyes-Serrano’s driveway, according to the documents. He told the officer that the dog he saw on July 4th may have been dead, court documents say.
This man said Reyes-Serrano told him the dog was a stray that had previously come into his garden, the documents say.
Yakima’s animal control officer went to the house to investigate, court documents say, and Reyes-Serrano said the little dog was attacked by his dogs and that he killed the little dog because it was badly injured.
When police went to the house to retrieve the dog’s remains, Reyes-Serrano pulled them out of a crawl space under his house, a police affidavit said.
Two veterinarians and the city’s animal welfare officer said the dog’s injuries were incompatible with being attacked by another animal.
Reyes-Serrano was arrested on July 8 and released the next day due to his lack of a criminal record under the pre-trial release program. But Richard Bartheld, judge of the Yakima District High Court, ordered him to turn his dogs over to either the Yakima Humane Society or a private kennel for the duration of the criminal case. He also banned Reyes-Serrano from contact with domesticated animals.
“The allegations in this case are hideous,” said Bartheld at the hearing, “especially if you are an animal lover like many in this community.”