SAN ANTONIO -

A Bexar County grand jury has indicted Bexar County Sheriff’s Deputy Steven Benoy, a 23-year veteran of the sheriff’s office, on two counts of animal cruelty.

"The District Attorney’s Office takes animal cruelty seriously and will not tolerate it in Bexar County,” said Trey Banack, chief of the district attorney’s white collar crimes division.

The case will now go into the court system.

“We have two misdemeanor counts which are punishable with up to one year in the county jail or community supervision and up to a $4,000 fine,” Banack said.

Benoy allegedly left two police dogs in a kennel in his sheriff’s office vehicle overnight in July 2012. He told sheriff’s investigators at the time that he had simply forgotten the dogs were in his vehicle.

Both dogs died from heat exhaustion.

According to a statement issued by sheriff’s office spokesman Paul Berry, Benoy is on administrative leave pending dismissal proceedings.

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