Texas Man Accused of Hanging Puppy Out of Boredom

A man in Texas accused of killing a puppy told police he hanged the animal because he was bored.

Claudio Gomez of Monte Alto hanged the puppy, which he didn't own, from a tree. He filmed the killing, and shared a video on Facebook, Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office said in a statement.

A member of the public called the police on Wednesday, February 12, after seeing a video on the social media website showing a man torturing a dog.

Police watched the video, which showed a man hanging a "small puppy" by its neck from a tree. Deputies were able to find where the video was created and went to the address. There they found Gomez. He gave officers a voluntary statement, "admitting to hanging a dog that didn't belong to him out of boredom."

Officers arrested Gomez and took him to the county jail. The 21-year-old was arraigned by Justice of the Peace Gilberto Saenz and given a $10,000 bond. Gomez was charged with cruelty to a non-livestock animal.

Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office said in a statement that it is "committed to holding accountable individuals who would mistreat or torture the innocent."

"We would like to thank the concerned citizen for making us aware of the incident and would like to encourage Hidalgo County residents to report suspicious activity or any crime being committed," the force said.

The police asked anyone with information on crimes or suspicious activities to call the Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigations Division at 956-383-8114. Those who wish to be anonymous can call Hidalgo County Crime Stoppers hotline at 668-TIPS (8477).

Gomez's attorney Rubio Salinas was contacted by The Associated Press, and declined to comment on the case until he could confer with his client.

According to the SPCA of Texas, it is illegal in the state to intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly treat an animal cruelly. That includes torture; failing to give adequate food, care or shelter; and abandonment. It is also illegal to kill, seriously injure, or poison an animal; force it to fight with another; and injure an animal belonging to another person.

Animal cruelty is punishable by a $10,000 fine, and up to two years in jail.
In 2001, the state introduced what is known as Loco's Law, after a puppy had its eyes intentionally gouged out. Before that, animal cruelty was not a felony in the state.

 Claudio Gomez, animal cruelty, Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office
The mugshot of Claudio Gomez, 21, who killed a puppy. Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office