Alleged dog abuser caught on camera

A Watsonville man was arrested this week after neighbors filmed him allegedly abusing a dog, Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter officials said Wednesday.

Animal control officials said they were contacted on Tuesday by a resident in the 100 block of Paseo Drive who had filmed his neighbor abusing a dog in the backyard the previous day.

Animal shelter officials obtained a warrant and found that the man filmed was Dustin Davis. Davis, 44, is the boyfriend of the home’s resident, who was out of town when the alleged attack occurred.

Officials seized the dog, which had been obtained from a free Craigslist advertisement, and brought it in to the shelter for treatment by a veterinarian.

Davis has since been arrested and charged with felony animal cruelty.

Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter Field Services Manager Todd Stosuy said in a statement:

“Without the assistance of the alert citizen videotaping this egregious event, this subject would not have been caught. … We hope this story empowers citizens to use their cell phones to capture cases of animal cruelty and neglect so that we can ensure justice is served.”

The Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter operates two animals shelters in Santa Cruz and in Watsonville and responds 24 hours a day to calls reporting animals in distress. The shelter can be reached at (831) 454-7200.