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Dallas man arrested for abandoning family dog 'Max' on surveillance video, affidavit says

The Dallas Police Department's Animal Cruelty Unit charged the suspect with cruelty to non-livestock animals.

DALLAS — The Dallas Police Department has announced an arrest in the case of a dog who was abandoned on surveillance footage near Dowdy Ferry Road earlier this week. 

Ramiro Zuniga, 41, was arrested by DPD's Animal Cruelty Unity on a charge of cruelty to non-livestock animals -- abandon, a Class A misdemeanor. 

Police are accusing Zuniga of intentionally abandoning a dog on Wednesday in the 9000 block of Teagarden Road.

DPD's Southeast CRT team executed a search warrant Saturday on Zuniga's home, where they found the vehicle caught in surveillance footage of the disposal, and he was taken into custody. 

According to an arrest warrant affidavit, investigators found Zuniga through an anonymous caller, who recognized him in the video. The caller recognized Zuniga from his job at a gas station.

Police interviewed Zuniga, who admitted seeing media release video of the dog, a German Shepherd, being abandoned, and he admitted it was him on the video, the affidavit said. Zuniga's family also confirmed he was the person who abandoned the dog, who was their family dog known as "Max," according to the affidavit.

Zuniga was arrested and was taken to the Dallas County Jail, police say. 

In surveillance footage of the incident, a man is seen driving up and parking around 6:45 p.m. Wednesday. He is driving an older model white Chevrolet SUV. He opens the tailgate and a playful, young German Shepherd mix jumps out. 

Someone shouts at them from across the road. The dog reacts, but the man ignores them and gets back into his SUV, the dog following behind him. But the suspect drives away, with the dog giving chase south on Teagarden, narrowly escaping getting hit by other passing cars.

Neighbors who witnessed the man dumping the dog and driving away were able to capture the dog and care for it until Dallas Animal Services arrived late Wednesday night. The dog, which appears to be a young German Shepherd, reportedly had a minor leg injury but is otherwise OK.

PETA was offering a reward of up to $5,000 for any information that would lead to the arrest and conviction of the man caught dumping the dog.  

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