Dallas police arrest man caught on camera dumping German shepherd
A man was caught on a surveillance camera dumping a dog and the Dallas Police Department is seeking the public's help in identifying him.
UPDATE 3-11-2023: The Dallas Police Department Animal Cruelty Unit have arrested Ramiro Zuniga, 41, and charged him with Cruelty to Non-Livestock Animals – Abandon, an A Misdemeanor charge. An investigation determined that on March 8, Zuniga intentionally abandoned a dog in the 9000 block of Teagarden Road. On March 11, the Dallas Police Department’s Southeast CRT team executed a search warrant on Zuniga’s home, locating the vehicle used in the crime, and Zuniga was taken into custody. Zuniga was taken to the Dallas County Jail.
The incident took place near Dowdy Ferry Road, a southern Dallas street that has become a notorious dumping ground for animals.
As the footage shows, a man driving a late-'90s/early 2000s white Chevrolet Tahoe or Suburban SUV pulls off the road, gets out, goes to the rear of the vehicle, and unlocks the tailgate. He fiddles for a second, perhaps disconnecting what turns out to be a tan German shepherd from a tie, then unceremoniously pushes the dog out and onto the ground. The dog sniffs the ground, tail wagging.
The man heads back to the driver door when a neighbor shouts out. "Hey, uh-uh, no! Hey, no. NO." But he gets back in and drives off. The dog chases but to no avail, then stands in the middle of the road, barely avoiding getting hit by a car coming in the other direction.
Abandoning an animal is considered animal cruelty and is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by a sentence of up to one year in jail and or a fine of up to $4,000.
Police are asking anyone who can help identify the suspect to call the Dallas Police Animal Cruelty Division at 469-504-3394. And People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, AKA PETA, has added incentive with a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the suspect's arrest and conviction.
As can be seen in the video, he's wearing a pastel sky-blue short-sleeved jersey and pale blue jeans with a black belt. He has dark hair and is slightly stocky, and looks to be about 5'8". He definitely comes up a few inches shorter than the SUV which is about 6 feet high.
Catching someone in the act is rare, but the area has become so well known for animal dumping that a group called the Dowdy Ferry Animal Commission was formed by neighbors and animal activists, who have installed surveillance cameras to try and foil these cruel criminal acts.
Fortunately, the dog was rescued by commission members including Kema Condor, the neighbor who tried to stop him, and Meagan Probus, who also lives nearby. The two women have intervened on behalf of dozens of dogs that have been dumped in the area.
"My husband Wraith and I saw that video and were throwing on our clothes while the guy was dumping the dog," Probus says. "We got there three minutes after he was gone, and Kema already had him on a leash."
The dog is now in the custody of Dallas Animal Services. The story has already been covered by media in the U.K.
Dowdy Ferry Animal Commission member Jeremy Boss told WFAA that it was an intentional act.
"That was an intentional dump and he did not want to be caught," Boss said. "And he did not want that dog and he made that clear."
"It makes me sick to my stomach when I see people that will take the time to take their dog, drive out here, and throw it out like trash like Dowdy Ferry is known for," he said.