An Oakhurst woman was arrested Wednesday, Aug. 29 after the Madera County Sheriff's Office received a desperate phone call from a citizen who witnessed her violently slamming her puppy's head into the ground.
According to reports, 39-year-old Janice Aguilar was seen slamming her puppy's head repeatedly into the ground. She was then seen stuffing it into her backpack and catching a ride.
The suspect was dropped off near the Oakhurst Community Park and witnesses at the park said they saw the animal and said it was still alive but visibly dying. According to the sheriff's report, one of the witnesses in the park reportedly killed the puppy to put it out of its misery.
Deputies found Aguilar near a mini-mart off Highway 41 in Oakhurst, where she was taken into custody. Aguilar claims her dog was attacked by a pit bull.
Aguilar was booked into the Madera County Department of Corrections on suspicion of animal cruelty and death. The investigation is ongoing.
The puppy was believed to be a mix, with possibly some lab, between eight and 11 weeks old.
The suspect reportedly contacted someone to take the puppy to a veterinary hospital, but instead told the driver to be drop her off at the Oakhurst Park. That's where witnesses saw the puppy (one eye popping out of its head) in severe pain and beyond help. A witness felt the only thing to do was to put the animal out of its misery.
The incident created a huge outcry from the public online via social media, with about 1,400 views, 50 shares and more than 100 comments on the Sierra Star's Facebook page as of press time Tuesday.