A 6-month-old puppy in San Tan Valley, Arizona, was seen hanging upside down by his hind legs in a horse barn on June 16, leading to the arrest of the owner.
According to a witness, the puppy's whimpers were loud and, when she went to take a look over her fence, she saw the dog hanging in the barn and it appeared to be in great pain. That's when she called law enforcement.
“When deputies arrived at the property where the dog was seen hanging, they found the dog cowering under a table in a covered horse pen. It was no longer hanging, but it was clearly injured, as it could not walk,” said Sheriff Paul Babeu in a press release.
The dog's owner, 51-year-old Martin Benavidez, was arrested and charged with animal cruelty. Benavidez told police he was merely training the puppy.
“This is a horrific case of animal abuse and for the owner to think he was training the dog is absurd,” Babeu said. “The dog was being tortured, not trained.”
“I find it deplorable for a person to think that blatant animal cruelty is training a dog," said Pinal County Animal Control Director Audra Michael. "He should now know that it won't be tolerated here in Pinal County.”
But things might be looking up for the puppy.
“The dog is with us and is recovering from its injuries,” Michael said. “We've named him 'Spur' and we're confident Spur will never suffer from abuse again.”
But on the Pinal Sheriff County's Facebook page, commenters weren't quite satisfied with the bittersweet ending.
“HELL IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS,” wrote Kristy Dillon.
“Can I get a couple of minutes with this so called human?” added Stephen Gulbro.