A Dallas man who was caught on surveillance video abandoning his pet German Shepherd on the side of the road before driving off last week has been arrested.
Ramiro Zuniga, 41, was arrested by the Dallas Police Department on Saturday, according to county jail records.He is now facing a misdemeanor animal cruelty charge, stemming from the incident that sparked outrage on social media.
Heart-breaking Surveillance Footage
In surveillance footage of the incident, a man is seen driving up and parking around 6:45 p.m. Wednesday. He is driving an older model white Chevrolet SUV. He opens the tailgate and a playful, young German Shepherd mix jumps out.
Someone shouts at them from across the road. The dog reacts, but the man ignores them and gets back into his SUV, the dog following behind him. But the suspect drives away, with the dog giving chase south on Teagarden, narrowly escaping getting hit by other passing cars.
Neighbors who witnessed the man dumping the dog and driving away were able to capture the dog and care for it until Dallas Animal Services arrived late Wednesday night. The dog, which appears to be a young German Shepherd, reportedly had a minor leg injury but is otherwise OK.
PETA also offered a reward of up to $5,000 for any information that would lead to the arrest and conviction of the man caught dumping the dog.
Zuniga was Living in the U.S. Illegally, Identified After Video went Viral
Zuniga was later was identified as the suspect and a search warrant was executed at his residence. According to an arrest warrant affidavit, investigators found Zuniga through an anonymous caller, who recognized him in the video. The caller recognized Zuniga from his job at a gas station.
"On March 11, 2023, the Dallas Police Department's Southeast CRT team executed a search warrant on Zuniga's home, locating the vehicle used in the crime, and Zuniga was taken into custody," cops said.
During the search, police also found that Zuniga was living illegally in the U.S. Zuniga was booked thereafter at the Dallas County Jail on the cruelty to non-livestock animals misdemeanor charge. While bond was set at $4,000, jail records say that Zuniga remains in custody on an immigration hold requested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.