A California man has been arrested for slashing the throat of a pit bull after the dog killed his pet poodle.
ABC News reports that 30-year-old Rudy Jesus Barajas of Riverside, California, was arrested on suspicion of animal cruelty charges after he allegedly killed his neighbor’s pit bull.
Police say the pit bull’s owner exited her house and saw that her dog was holding Barajas’ poodle in its mouth by the neck. Barajas and two other neighbors were attempting to free the poodle, who was named Spunky, from the pit bull’s mouth.
Eventually, the pit bull, Devo, released Spunky. That is when officials say Barajas dragged Devo into his home and slashed the dog’s throat. Devo then ran back to his owner and collapsed. He died shortly thereafter on his way to the vet. Spunky also died of the injuries sustained in the attack.
Raul Romero, Barajas' stepfather, told police that "the poodle was in its rightful property when the pit bull entered the yard and attacked." Romero also claims the pit bull tried to bite Barajas.
According to California law, the unprovoked killing of a pet is a felony offense, according to the Animal Legal & Historical Center:
The provisions of Sections 31102 and 31103 (killing a wild animal) shall not apply to any dog which is inside the corporate limits of any city, or city and county, or to any dog which is under the reasonable control of his owner or keeper, unless the dog is actually caught in the act or worrying, wounding, chasing, or killing any livestock or poultry.
Officials claim that since Barajas took the pit bull into his house after the attack on Spunky was over, he therefore committed a felony. Barajas was arrested at his home and is currently awaiting sentencing.