55ºF

Dog owner speaks out after animal cruelty arrest

"I don't know how the rope got on him," said the dogs owner

SEGUIN, Texas – The owner of a dog charged wants to set two things straight. Mario Perez says he’s been an animal lover ever since his childhood of growing up on a farm and his dog’s name is Bam Bam, not Bill.

Bill is the name given to his mixed breed dog that was removed from his home on Nov. 10 by Seguin Animal Control.

“I didn't have a rope on him, I had a chain on him,” said Perez. “I don't know how the rope got on him.”

Officers were investigating a case of animal cruelty and found the dog with a tight rope around its neck that was attached to a chain tied to a tree.

“The rope was going so deep into the dog's neck that the vet that was giving it emergency treatment said that if we hadn't done something, the dog was getting ready to decapitate itself,” said Deputy Chief Bruce Ure, of the Seguin Police Department. “That's how deep it was.”

Bill had surgery to remove the rope as well as several stitches to close the wound. Three weeks after he was picked up, Seguin police got an arrest warrant for Perez. He said he turned himself in a day after they came to his house, but Ure said that’s not what happened.

“I didn't do nothing wrong to my dog,” said Perez. “If I would have seen that cut on my dog, I would have taken him straight to the vet because that's a big cut.”

Bill’s stitches are gone and he’s gained 5 pounds. He appears to be healing well and remains playful with people. His biggest rehab challenge is learning how to eat.

“With the eating, he does scarf down the food that we put down so we feed him in intervals so he doesn't eat too much at one time,” said Shelley Lutz, an animal control officer with the city of Seguin.

“Bill attacks a bowl of food because he's not sure if he's ever going to get fed again,” added Ure.

Perez’s next court date is Jan. 9. He hopes to clear his name and is upset with posts readers have made online in response to his arrest.

“They've been saying it on Facebook that they should hang him or tie him to the back of a truck and drag him,” said Perez. “They don't even know me, man.”

Once Bill has recovered, he’ll be moved to the Etosha Rescue and Adoption Center where officials hope he’ll eventually be adopted.