The German shepherd breed was once lobbied against for being vicious. Now, they have turned into one of the favorite pets for families looking for a highly trainable and loyal dog. The German shepherd is even one of the most popular breeds used as police dogs (alongside the Belgian Malinois and the Dutch shepherd).
There were even clones created from a German shepherd, named Trakr, that was a part of the 9/11 search and rescue team.
As a result of the image evolution of the German shepherd in American society, the breed is now seen as an symbol of courage, justice, and aid.
Unfortunately, the bravery associated with the German shepherd breed did not save a five-month-old puppy from the anger of his human’s hand.
Thirty-two-year-old Nicholas Joseph Luiz is a firefighter operating out of Santa Clara, California. He was arrested roughly a week ago when reports that he might have been abusing his five-month-old shepherd puppy began to reach authorities.
It was just after Christmas, at approximately 11:45 pm that Tuesday, when the Napa police dispatcher began to receive calls from a neighbor explaining that he believed Luiz was beating the German shepherd.
“That evening by about 11:45 our dispatch center received a call that a neighbor who lived in the 1100 block of Messa Drive had been beating his dog and they believed it was deceased,” Napa Police Captain Jeff Troendly told ABC News.
Police arrived at the location, but both Luiz and his wife refused to answer the door. They remained on site until they were able to get a search warrant the next morning.
At approximately 8:30 am, the search warrant prompted the couple to let the officers in. Authorities then made a gruesome discovery.
During the search of the house, the officers found the German shepherd puppy in the laundry room. The shepherd was deceased and wrapped in a plastic bag.
According to Police Captain Troendly, investigators reported the belief that the shepherd puppy was in the backyard when slammed into the ground repeatedly.
When authorities confronted Luiz about the German shepherd’s death, he admitted to killing the shepherd and gave the excuse that he had merely “lost control” and that caused him to injure the animal.
Luiz was arrested on the spot and booked into county jail. He is currently out, but being charged with animal cruelty.
He hasn’t been fired from the fire department, but he’s on paid administrative leave while an internal investigation is conducted.
“It was disturbing when I heard this news,” Santa Clara Fire Chief Bill Kelly told the San Jose Mercury News. “We are taking this very seriously.”
Neighbors of Luiz were sickened by the news. Many stated that they heard or saw things that indicated the German shepherd puppy may have been abused from the very beginning.
“Terrible,” said David Patrick, a neighbor of Luiz’s. “I’m just sickened by it. We have two dogs ourselves and you know, our pets are part of our family.”
Although Luiz was arrested for killing his German shepherd puppy last year, he hasn’t been tried yet. That matters because 2016 brings with it a serious outlook on animal cruelty.
This year brings with it an animal cruelty database that tracks offenders the same way murderers are tracked, and in most states a cruelty case, like the one noted above, is considered a felony.
According to The Washington Post, the FBI has defined animal cruelty as “Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly taking an action that mistreats or kills any animal without just cause, such as torturing, tormenting, mutilation, maiming, poisoning, or abandonment.”
Although the German shepherd puppy died at the hands of the human he was supposed to be able to trust with his life, the new animal cruelty laws will at least see that the puppy’s killer is brought to justice.
[ Photo by sabbracadabra/ShutterStock ]