Case Snapshot
Case ID: 18776
Classification: Choking / Strangulation / Suffocation
Animal: dog (non pit-bull)
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Sunday, Oct 23, 2011

County: Union

Charges: Felony CTA
Disposition: Alleged

Alleged: Leopoldo Dominic Apodaca

A man accused in El Dorado of using his hands to kill a miniature Chihuahua is charged with felony animal cruelty.

The El Dorado News Times reports that 29-year-old Leopoldo D. Apodaca was arrested Wednesday for allegedly breaking the dog's neck.

Apodaca's girlfriend told police that she and Apodaca were involved in a domestic dispute, which allegedly prompted Apodaca to harm the dog.

A phone number for Apodaca could not be located. But police say he told officers when he was arrested that the dog had been hit by a vehicle and that he "put it out of its misery."

The Union County Jail roster showed Apodaca was still being held Thursday and that he has a Friday scheduled court appearance. It was unclear if he has a lawyer.

The Chihuahua was so small that it did not pose a threat to Apodaca, El Dorado Police Capt. Kevin Holt said.

"Why would someone take on such a defenseless animal, especially a miniature dog?" Holt said. "It probably was no bigger than a soda bottle."

A relative of Apodaca's girlfriend said he Apodaca had given the dog to her. The girlfriend, who works at a restaurant, declined comment Friday on what happened.

Police said they answered a disturbance call at the girlfriend's home last Sunday and found the dog's body lying by a vehicle. Apodaca had left but was arrested a short time later at another house in town.

Holt, a 22-year veteran of the Police Department, said he had never seen a case like this.

"This is not a normal occurrence," Holt said. "We have never had a case where someone physically killed a dog with their bare hands."

Apodaca is being retained on a $25,000 cash bond.

"Some people will say it is not high enough," Holt said.


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