Arizona Man Charged With Animal Cruelty For Allegedly Hanging 6-Month-Old Puppy

An Arizona man was charged with animal cruelty for allegedly hanging his 6-month-old puppy, according to Tucson News Now. On June 16, police officials arrived at the home of 51-year-old Martin Benavidez of San Tan Valley on the 9900 block of Asbury Avenue, near Judy’s Road and Asbury Avenue after receiving a 911 call from a neighbor at approximately 7:50 p.m.

Documents stated that a neighbor – whose name has not been released – heard a dog whimpering and decided to go outside to see what was going on. That’s when the neighbor discovered that Benavidez had allegedly hanged the puppy upside down in a horse stable by its hind legs.

The neighbor immediately notified police, and informed “dispatchers that the puppy appeared to be in great pain.”

When police officials arrived at the scene, the puppy was no longer hanging in the horse stable, but they did question Benavidez about the incident. He didn’t hesitate to admit that he hung the puppy upside down, but it was only because he was training his Queensland Heeler puppy, whose new name is Spur, after it refused to listen to him.

Benavidez went on to say that he didn’t believe that he was hurting the dog in any way, but when San Tan Valley animal cruelty officer examined the puppy, it appeared to have suffered a few injuries, such as “swelling and rope marks on his hind legs,” where the puppy was hanging from.

According to Fox 10 News Phoenix, the San Tan Valley man was arrested and charged with animal cruelty for “tying up a puppy and hanging it by its hind legs,” causing injury.

Sheriff Paul Babeu stated that “when deputies arrived at the scene, they found the dog cowering under a table in a covered horse pen. It was no longer hanging, but was clearly injured, as it could not walk.”

“This is a horrific case of animal abuse and for the owner to think he was training the dog is absurd. The dog was being tortured, not trained.”

Spur is now recovering from his injuries in the care of Riksta Dickerson, who is an animal control officer for Pinal County. She told reporters that this is the worst case of animal cruelty she has ever seen and all she could do after rescuing the puppy was to “sit with him and cry.”

She went on to say that she “felt really bad; it really tugged at my heartstrings. He’s walking semi-normal now, but every once in a while you’ll see he throws out his hips.”

“He’s inside in the AC; he’s got a nice bed, dog beds in every room. Oh, he’s very cute and very sweet, loves everybody and everything.”

Dickerson is also making plans to adopt the puppy she rescued, and Spur is going to live a “normal, happy life on a farm with horses and three other dogs to play with.”

“I find it deplorable for a person to think that blatant animal cruelty is training a dog,” said Audra Michael, who is the animal control director for Pinal County. “He should now know that it won’t be tolerated here in Pinal County. The dog is with us and is recovering from the injuries.”

Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu stated, “For the neighbor to have seen this dog actually hanging upside down, it must have been shocking, and nobody wants to see that. However, we’re glad that she called us, and it probably saved the dog’s life”

“That’s not training, that is the dog was being tortured.”

Shortly after Martin Benavidez was arrested on animal cruelty charges, he was released from the Pinal County jail. His case is now being carefully reviewed by the county attorney’s office to determine if his charge will be a felony or a misdemeanor.

[Image via Getty Images/David McNew]