EL CENTRO – Animal control officers responded to the 500 block of Brighton Avenue Friday, July 1, at 10:15 a.m., in reference to an animal cruelty report. The caller reported their dog had been shot with a pellet gun and wanted to report the incident. The animal control officer arrived and learned individuals in the area reported hearing a “loud bang.” When the dog owner went to check on the pet, he noticed the dog was bleeding from its leg.
Officers responded to the scene to assist animal control with the call and inspected the wounds to the dog. They determined the dog had been shot by a firearm and not a pellet gun as initially thought. While on scene, officers contacted Pablo Dominguez, 22-year old resident of El Centro, as he exited an apartment in the area where the dog had been shot. A search of Dominguez’ person revealed a handgun containing one expended round of ammunition and one live round of ammunition. Dominguez was arrested and taken into custody.
Officers continued to investigate this call over the course of several hours and determined the individual who had actually shot the dog was still inside one of the apartments. Officers were able to identify this person as Saul Montoya, a 26-year-old resident of El Centro, and were successful in arresting him without incident. Both Dominguez and Montoya were booked at the Imperial County Jail. Dominguez was charged with possession of a loaded firearm in a public place and possession of a concealed firearm. Montoya was charged with animal cruelty, felon in possession of a firearm, and discharge of a firearm in a public place.
The El Centro police were pleased to report the wounds to the dog were superficial and the dog was treated by a local veterinarian and returned home to its owner the same day. The dog is expected to fully recover in the next few weeks.
Officials said the men and women of the El Centro Police Department are dedicated to protecting the members of our community.