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Sheriff’s Department Arrests Thousand Palms Man

A 37-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of felony animal cruelty on Monday morning in Thousand Palms after apparently stabbing a Chihuahua to death.

Alfredo Leon Ruiz (Date of birth: 10-6-1983) was taken into custody by a Riverside County Sheriff’s Department deputy. Sgt. Miguel Hernandez of Animal Services responded to a property on Arbol Real Avenue at about 10 a.m. to assist the deputy.

The dog, a tan male whose age was estimated to be 10 months to about a year and half, had been tossed over a fence into a backyard at the Arbol Real Avenue property. The owner there did not know about the dog until informed by the deputy. The dog was already dead from severe injuries.

Sgt. Hernandez captured photographic evidence and took down notes to assist the deputy. It is expected that the Sheriff’s Department will be taking the lead in the investigation and pursuit of felony cruelty.

“The dog was covered in blood and appeared to have large lacerations on its head and chest that appeared to be inflicted with a sharp object,” Sgt. Hernandez said.

One witness told the deputy that the suspect appeared to be bashing the dog against an object and was waving a knife, Sgt. Hernandez said. Also, the suspect allegedly made death threats against a neighbor.

The dog was transported to the Coachella Valley Animal Campus in Thousand Palms and will be stored in the shelter’s morgue until the investigation is concluded.

“Life is tough sometimes but if this person did do this – to cause such terrible harm to a small, defenseless pet, to just snap – we all know this is not normal behavior,” Sgt. Hernandez said. “I just hope I don’t have to see something like this ever again.”

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