Dog found alive after being strangled by owner, tossed in bushes

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(Source: Lake Wales Police Department, Polk County Sheriff’s Office)

POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A dog in Lake Wales is lucky to be alive after he was strangled with a leash and thrown into some bushes by his angry owner, authorities said.

Police arrested 36-year-old Cesar Cruz Sanchez on Sunday after he was caught on surveillance video pulling the dog, a 6-year-old Chihuahua named Canelo, by the leash as it resisted walking.

A witness told police Cruz Sanchez used the leash to strangle Canelo, then tossed the dog into some bushes near a lake.

Cruz Sanchez later told police he was mad at the dog for laying on baby furniture. He was arrested for animal cruelty and booked into a Polk County jail.

Police said the dog was thought to have been killed, but a person contacted Animal Control and reported finding an injured stray believed to be Canelo, and said he returned the dog to its owner.

Animal Control responded to Cruz Sanchez’s home and the animal was surrendered.

“Although we are sickened at the treatment Canelo received by his owner, Cesar Cruz Sanchez, we are happy Canelo is still alive and will be treated well at the Polk County Sheriff’s Office Animal Control Shelter,” police said in a statement.

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