JEFFERSON COUNTY, Mo. - The Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney's Office charged a Barnhart man for allegedly binding a dog's snout and legs together with duct tape and abandoning the animal in a cold ditch.
A spokesperson for the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office said one of their deputies found the dog, a dachshund mix, while on patrol Saturday in the area of Old State Road M and Schneider Road.
The dog was cold, malnourished, and possibly suffering from a concussion. The dog was found in 30-degree weather. Police said temperatures had dipped into the teens the night before.
The dog, who officers have nicknamed "Jimmy," was rushed to Ivan Animal Hospital in House Springs and has been in recovery.
"His prognosis looks very good," said Dr. Laura Ivan, veterinarian at Ivan Animal Hospital. "He has a little bit of a residual head tilt which basically implies that he is off balance a little bit, which when they tilt their head they're actually seeing straight ahead of us. But he's been happy, he wags his tail a lot, he's active, he's eating."
The duct tape was kept as evidence by the deputy and that lead to an arrest of a suspect.
"The deputy having that forethought to save that duct tape and took it back to the evidence lab and the techs worked on it for hours and they were able to slowly peel that duct tape apart and they found a fingerprint on the sticky side of it," said Grant Bissell, a spokesman for the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office.
Prosecutors charged Paul Garcia, 39, with animal abuse and armed criminal action. Garcia remains jailed on a $50,000 cash-only bond.
Authorities don't know why Garcia duct-taped the dog and said they're still looking for the dog's owner. Anyone with information on this case is asked to call the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office Detective Bureau at 636-797-5515.