Bronx man accused of beating dog with shovel, burying her in snow

BRONX -- A Bronx man is under arrest and facing charges after police say he beat his dog with a shovel, buried her in the snow and left her for dead.

Raul Cruz, 43, was charged with aggravated cruelty to an animal and torture, injuring or not feeding an animal.

Neighbors called 911, reporting the dog being beaten just before 4 a.m.

"I heard the dog crying," neighbor Thynia Williams said. "It sounded like it was a little dog, but it did sound like he was beating the dog."

Williams heard the cries in the early-morning hours and was among several people who called police.

"Somebody is beating a dog, and it sounds like the dog is outside or the dog is being deprived of something," Williams said. "It's definitely animal cruelty."

Authorities say Cruz hit his dog, a 6-month-old pit bull named Hennessey, with a snow shovel and his fists.

Officers found the dog's snout sticking out of the snow, and they say the pooch had been abused and mistreated.

Police at the 41st Precinct tweeted the above picture of Hennessy and her rescuers, writing, "There is no excuse for animal abuse...perpetrator arrested. #Hennessy is safe."

Neighbor William Ward was surprised to hear of the charges.

"I've never seen him mistreat the dog or anything," he said. "I've seen the dog. I've seen him walking the dog. I've never seen him mistreat the dog...(she looked) like a healthy little pit. In fact, I'm kind of surprised."

Hennessey was taken to the ASPCA,where she is receiving medical attention. Officials there say it is too soon to comment on her ultimate prognosis.

"We applaud the brave citizens who witnessed this barbaric act and called the NYPD," ASPCA Anti-Cruelty Group senior director Howard Lawrence said. "We encourage anyone who witnesses an animal crime in progress in NYC to please call 911 immediately. You may be saving that animal's life."
Copyright © 2019 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.