Sheriff’s deputies were called to an Edgewood, New Mexico, home last Friday regarding an extremely disturbing animal cruelty case, according to Torrance County Sheriff Heath White.
“We responded to a welfare check for a possible animal cruelty case,” White said. “When we got there we discovered the male subject had taken the family dog and killed it in a gruesome manner and prepared it for dinner after searching on the Internet how to cook dog,” the Albuquerque Journal reports..
Upon arrival at the home, a woman told officers that her boyfriend had killed the family dog—a 9-month-old Chiweenie (Chihuahua/Dachshund mix), named Onyx. KRQE-TV reports that deputies found the dog’s body in a freezer.
According to the Sheriff’s criminal complaint, Salvador Martinez, 46, admitted to killing the little black and white dog by stabbing him in the heart with a screwdriver and then skinning him. He justified his actions by stating that there was not have enough food for the couple and the grandchildren.
However, his girlfriend assured the deputies that there was plenty of food available in the house, according to KRQE-TV.
Sheriff White told the Albuquerque Journal that the house had food in it and the family receives aid from the government and churches.
Deputies report that Martinez told them, after killing Onyx, he “went online to look up dog meat recipes and whether it is legal to eat dogs in New Mexico.”
While it is legal to eat dogs in New Mexico, KRQE reports that Sheriff White said the manner in which Martinez says he killed Onyx is absolutely illegal.
According to the criminal complaint, when the girlfriend discovered the slaughtered dog the next day and confronted Martinez, he told her that if she didn’t like it he would take it over to his mother’s house for a barbecue.
Martinez was arrested and is being charged with extreme animal cruelty, a fourth degree felony, as well as child abuse. “The kids were present inside the residence and had full knowledge of what was taking place with their family pet,” Sheriff White said.
Martinez allegedly was intoxicated at the time of the arrest, the Albuquerque Journal reports.
Both a U.S. Marshal’s spokesperson and the Torrance County Detention Center indicate Martinez is now in federal custody because he is still on probation for a 2003 conviction for transporting cocaine across the border. The charges related to killing Onyx would appear to represent a probation violation, KRQE reports.
“It is extremely disturbing to know that someone would be that brutal with a family animal,” Sheriff White said.