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Arizona man sentenced to 120 days in jail under stricter animal cruelty law

(Arizona Humane Society Photo)

PHOENIX — The Arizona Humane Society announced on Wednesday that a man pled guilty to Class 5 animal cruelty 18 months after severely injuring a dog.

As part of a plea agreement, Netzer Villagomez will serve 120 days in jail, three years of supervised probation, do 360 hours of community service and pay restitution to AHS, according to a press release.

He will not be allowed to have contact with the victims, nor be in possession of an animal while on probation.

Villagomez will also undergo drug monitoring and counseling, a mental health assessment and attend anger management counseling.

Miso, the pug, was found in September 2019 near 32nd Avenue and Camelback Road suffering from extreme injuries.

The dog was treated at the Arizona Humane Society’s trauma hospital, where X-rays discovered that the pup had sustained two fractured ribs, a fractured pelvis and a fractured tooth, according to a press release.

Officials added that bloodwork also revealed Miso’s liver had elevated values consistent with acute injuries.

In addition, bloodwork also revealed elevated liver values consistent with acute injuries.

The case is the first Arizona Humane Society animal abuse case booked and sentenced as a Class 5 felony under HB2671, according to the release.

Having gone into effect August 27, 2019, the bill strengthens the state’s animal cruelty laws to “ensure that the punishment for the most heinous acts of animal cruelty now more appropriately fit the crime.”

Raising the charges from Class 6 to Class 5 means that those cases can no longer be dropped to a misdemeanor and could possibly include both jail time and supervised probation and treatment.

According to the release, AHS’ animal cruelty investigators responded to over 6,200 calls of suspected cases last year.

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