Arrest on Dog Abandonment, Immigration Charge


Surveillance video of a man lets a dog out of his vehicle | Image by WFAA

An arrest has been made after surveillance video captured an unknown man abandoning a dog near Dowdy Ferry Road and Teagarden Road in Southeast Dallas.

The Dallas Police Department’s (DPD) Animal Cruelty Unit arrested 41-year-old Ramiro Zuniga on Saturday, March 11, in connection with the abandoned dog, according to a news release.

Zuniga is also being held for allegedly being in the country illegally, according to arrest records reviewed by The Dallas Express.

DPD officers conducted a preliminary investigation and reportedly confirmed that Zuniga was the individual seen in the video.

The video allegedly shows Zuniga abandoning the young German shepherd on March 8 in the 9000 block of Teagarden Road, police said.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) offered a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to his arrest in a press release sent out Friday.

“Our dogs rely on us to protect them, but instead, this man dumped this dog on the side of the road, leaving him to chase after the car—and likely the only family he’s ever known,” said PETA President Colleen O’Brien in the Friday statement.

“This is an egregious betrayal of a dog’s trust, and PETA urges anyone who recognizes this dog or the man who abandoned him to come forward immediately,” she continued.

The incident occurred in District 8, which is represented by Dallas City Council Member Tennell Atkins. Atkins has been the subject of The Dallas Express Crime Boss series in the past.

A search warrant allowed the DPD’s Southeast Critical Response Team (CRT) to enter Zuniga’s home and confirm that the vehicle in the video was the same as the one at his residence.

Officers then took Zuniga into custody and transported him to the Dallas County Jail.

He is charged with cruelty to non-livestock animals. Though his bond for this charge has been set at $4,000, an immigration hold placed by ICE mandates that Zuniga cannot be released on bail.

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