A Las Cruces man suspected of shooting his neighbors’ pet German shepherd has been arrested and charged with animal cruelty.
Tony A. Sanders, 50, of 4988 Jaradite Dr., is charged with one count of extreme cruelty to animals, a fourth-degree felony.
On Tuesday, March 19, an animal control officer from the Las Cruces Police Department was dispatched to the home of one of Sanders’ neighbors who reported that their German shepherd, Rena, had been shot.
The owners of the German shepherd said that their dog was ill the past couple of days so they took the pet to a veterinarian. X-rays taken at the veterinarian’s office showed what appeared to be shrapnel lodged in the dog’s chest.
Las Cruces Police learned that Rena’s owners had installed security cameras at their residence a couple of years ago after they suspected that another pet German shepherd was poisoned. After learning that Rena had shrapnel in her chest, the owners reviewed footage from the security cameras and saw images of Sanders shooting their dog at close range with what appeared to be a black rifle with a scope.
Las Cruces Police contacted Sanders who disclosed involvement in the incident. Police also located a black .177 caliber pellet rifle with a scope at Sanders’ home.
Police learned that the veterinarian did not recommend surgery on the German shepherd as an operation may cause additional harm to the dog. The dog was given medication to relieve swelling and stave off infection.
Sanders was arrested early Wednesday morning and booked into the Dona Ana County Detention Center with bond set at $5,000.