A Morgan Hill man was arrested after he allegedly ran two dogs to the point of heat exhaustion, resulting in the death of one of the animals, police said.
About 4 p.m. Friday, police received a call reporting a man pushing a bicycle and dragging two dogs along the sidewalk in the area of Calle Mazatan and Calle Cerro, according to Morgan Hill police Sgt. Troy Hoefling.
Police arrived and contacted Antonio Palomarez, 36, standing over the two dogs – a female pit bull and a female boxer, according to police. Officers observed the dogs lying on their sides, non-responsive and panting profusely.
Palomarez said he owned the pit bull, and the boxer belonged to a neighbor, Hoefling said. He added he was trying to exercise the dogs to tire them out by taking them on a 7-mile run. Palomarez did not give the dogs any water before or during the exercise, police said.
Police immediately placed the ailing dogs into a patrol car and brought them to a veterinary hospital for treatment, police said. The pit bull was unable to move, but continued panting. The boxer was able to hold her head up but could not move or get up from the ground.
At the veterinary hospital, it was determined the pit bull was running an internal temperature of 105.9 degrees; the boxer was running a temperature of 103.1, Hoefling said. The dogs were diagnosed with hypothermia and heat exhaustion.
The owner of the boxer was notified of the dog’s condition and location, police said.
Both animals were administered fluids via an I.V. drip, according to police. The boxer’s condition improved with the I.V.
However, the pit bull was slower to improve and required a blood transfusion that did not improve the pit bull’s condition, and the animal eventually had to be euthanized, police said.
The boxer was released to its owner later that evening, Hoefling said.
Palomarez was arrested at the scene on suspicion of animal cruelty and transported to the Morgan Hill police station, where he was booked and released after posting bail, police said.
Anyone with more information about this case can contact Morgan Hill police at (408) 779-2101, or the anonymous tip line at (408) 947-7867.