Breaking News Blog

Friday, Mar 22 2013 02:23 PM

Police: Dog was dead at time of officer's arrest

By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN

The corpse of a dog found decomposing in a city of Arvin Animal Control truck on March 15 was dead before the vehicle was abandoned more than a week earlier, an Arvin Police Department investigation has concluded.

Arvin animal control officer Timothy Garza, 30, was called out after hours on March 4 to pick up an injured dog, authorities found.

The dog was given a lethal injection after Garza determined, with the help of a Kern County Animal Control officer, that the dog was so badly injured that it needed to be euthanized, the report stated.

The Arvin officer placed the corpse in his truck and drove it back to Arvin, intending to take the body to the Kern County Animal Control shelter for disposal the next morning, Arvin police said.

But Garza was arrested by Bakersfield Police Department officers on charges tied to a domestic violence case when he arrived back at the Arvin Police Department.

Garza did not tell anyone that he had a dead animal in the vehicle. Only one dog was left in the vehicle, the report stated.

The deceased dog remained in the truck until the morning of March 15, when Arvin maintenance workers found and removed the corpse and transported it to the disposal site, Arvin police reported.

There had been some question as to whether the dog was dead when the Arvin animal control officer was arrested or was alive and suffered a gruesome death inside the truck.

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