Luis Moreno wanted to win back his ex-girlfriend, but instead of sending flowers or chocolates police say the Phoenix man decided to starve his pet dog and then send a graphic image of the dying animal to her.
The 38-year-old Moreno was arrested Wednesday after he turned in his pit bull terrier named Wiggles to animal control, trying to claim it was a stray. Police said that Moreno and his girlfriend adopted the dog in 2008, but when they broke up two years ago Moreno kept the dog.
When the ex-girlfriend rebuffed his attempts to win her back, Luis Moreno reportedly began starving the dog and using it as bait to make her reconsider. Police say the man sent a series to text messages, including one that read: “Wiggles is dead, I hope your happy (expletive),” authorities said.
With the message, Moreno sent his ex-girlfriend in image of the emaciated dog, with his head barely lifted off the ground and his ribs sticking out from under his skin.
Animal control officers took in the dog, but it was deemed too unhealthy to survive and had to be euthanized.
After his arrest, Luis Moreno was called “sick” for starving to dog to death.
“It is sick and bizarre what some people do to animals, how they use and abuse them” Sheriff Joe Arpaio said.
The story of the man who starved his dog to death is not the first disturbing case of animal abuse to make headlines lately. In March, a Maryland man named Kenny Woodburn was in the news for shooting and killing his neighbor’s pit bull, claiming the dog had crossed over onto his property and charged at him.
While on its face it may have seemed like a clear-cut case of self-defense, what Woodburn did next made headlines. The man took a picture of the slain dog, Tank, and posted it on Facebook along with a taunt directed at the neighbor.
The picture sparked an outrage and also called into question Woodburn’s account of the events. In the picture, Tank had a gunshot wound to the back of the head, leading many to doubt whether the dog had truly charge at him. Neighbors and others in the community put together a petition to have Woodburn charged for killing the dog.
The Phoenix man is already facing justice for his alleged crime. Luis Moreno faces charges of domestic violence and animal cruelty for starving his dog to death.