an example of a man raising a knife. Photo from Pixabay.
An example of a man raising a knife not connected to allegations in this story. Photo from Pixabay.

A man was sentenced Monday to nearly a year in prison for stabbing a Chihuahua to death in Thousand Palms.

Alfredo Leon Ruiz, 38, pled guilty to one felony count of cruelty to an animal and was sentenced Monday to 364 days behind bars, plus two years of formal probation.

He was taken into custody on April 13 on suspicion of animal cruelty for killing a Chihuahua, according to Riverside County Animal Services. The charges against him stemmed from an incident that occurred at a property on Arbol Real Avenue in Thousand Palms, where Animal Services Sgt. Miguel Hernandez said his department responded to a report of a dead canine.

A sheriff’s deputy who was the first on the scene determined that the dog — a male with tan fur — had been tossed over a fence and into a backyard at the location. The Chihuahua was approximately 10 months to 18 months old.

“The dog was covered in blood and appeared to have large lacerations on its head and chest that appeared to be inflicted with a sharp object,” Hernandez said.

A witness reported that Ruiz bashed the dog against some sort of object and was seen waving a knife, he said.

“Life is tough sometimes but … to cause such terrible harm to a small, defenseless pet, to just snap — we all know this is not normal behavior,” Hernandez said. “I just hope I don’t have to see something like this ever again.”

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