A 34-year-old man, Jorge Samuel Hernandez, in Okeechobee, Florida was arrested on animal cruelty charges after surveillance footage captured him throwing a 6-month-old puppy over a six-foot fence, according to the Okeechobee News.
The Okeechobee Sheriff’s Office opened an investigation on Wednesday, January 4, when a local animal shelter discovered the 35-pound female dog, who is described as a Cur mix, laying injured the grass.
Police say the dog, who they named Jenny, was taken to the North Lake Animal Hospital for an emergency visit, and an X-ray revealed that she suffered a broken leg.
When Deputy Sergeant Arlene Durbin, who reportedly operates the animal shelter, viewed surveillance footage, she made a shocking discovery.
It was reported that just 14 hours before Jenny the dog was discovered at the animal shelter, a “blue F-150 pickup truck could be seen on surveillance video backing up to the fence at the animal control facility” at around 4:57 p.m.
— Kristen Chapman (@KChapmanCBS12) January 12, 2017
A man, who was later identified as Hernandez, is seen exiting the pickup truck, then hopping onto the back of his truck, picked up the dog and threw her over the 6-foot fence, which contained “three strands barbed wire on top.”
Jenny landed on the ground, which caused her to fracture her rear, right leg. In the video, she can be seen limping before laying down.
Hernandez allegedly abandoned the dog, leaving her without food, water, or a place to stay warm – and he did not seek medical treatment for Jenny.
Deputies later shared several photos of the person of interest and with the help of the community, Hernandez was in custody.
The Okeechobee man, who initially gave a fake name of Eleazar Ramirez-Avila to detectives, was arrested on Thursday, January 12 on a “felony charge of aggravated animal cruelty and misdemeanor charges of obstruction by a disguised person and no valid driver’s license.”
Hernandez confessed to the crime, stating that Jenny was a stray dog and when he became concerned that she would become aggressive towards the children in the neighborhood, he took her to an animal shelter.
Deputy James Hartsfield, who is with the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office, stated that “the dog had the surgical procedure and the bones have been pinned back together.”
Another deputy later contacted Nala’s New Life Rescue, which is an animal rescue service in Palm City, and they volunteered to treat Jenny.
— WPBF 25 News (@WPBF25News) January 12, 2017
In a Facebook post, Nala’s New Life Rescue wrote, “As you can see from the video, Jenny is a little angel, and also adorable. She was so quiet in the car traveling from the shelter to the vet – such a good little girl.”
“We are happy to announce that, thanks to your generosity and kindness, in just 12 hours, we were able to raise the funds necessary to cover the cost of Jenny’s surgery. Jenny is staying tonight at All Creatures Animal Hospital because we have not yet found her a foster home where she can recuperate.”
Officials say the puppy's leg was broken after it was thrown over a fence:https://t.co/xdgZmfqbft
— ABC13News (@ABC13News) January 12, 2017
In an updated Facebook post, Nala’s New Life Rescue wrote, “Jenny is recovering from her broken leg after being thrown over the fence at animal control. The surgery to repair her leg was a success, and she is resting and healing now with her foster mom. She can walk (no more gigantic splint on her leg, just a bandage), but she can only walk – no running or playing – for the next four to six weeks.
“We go back in 10 days to get some stitches out, and then 3 weeks after that, they’ll take x-rays to see how the leg is healing.”
“Thank you for your help!”
If you would like to help with Jenny’s recovery, you can donate via Nala’s New Life Rescue website.
[Featured Image by Red Stallion/iStock]