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3TV, FOX 10, KTAR & more: First AHS Class 5 Felony Booking Since HB2671, Abused Pug

Written by: Kimberly Ring

News Highlights:

  • Update 10/15/19: Miso’s story has touched the hearts of people around the country. We are so grateful to everyone who has reached out and sent him well wishes during this time. He is quite the survivor. We are happy to share that Miso has been placed in a loving home where he is safe and extremely loved. We will continue to support Phoenix Police in their ongoing investigation and would like to thank everyone for their help in the passing of House Bill 2671. Because of all of you, Miso’s abuser will now face much harsher punishment for his egregious acts while also getting the help he needs. And Miso will live the life he has always deserved. 
  • Update 10/1/19: AHS' trauma hospital veterinarians have found some neck bruising, in addition to the two fractured ribs, fractured pelvis, fractured tooth, and elevated liver values in his bloodwork that were previously discovered. At this time, we are still focused on Miso's medical care and assisting law enforcement on the case.
  • On Monday, August 23, an Arizona Humane Society Animal Cruelty Investigator responded to a suspected case of animal cruelty in Phoenix involving a Pug, Miso.
  • The dog was transported to AHS’ Second Chance Animal Trauma Hospital™ where x-rays revealed that he has two fractured ribs, a fractured pelvis, fractured tooth, and bloodwork also revealed elevated liver values consistent with acute injuries. He will remain under the care of AHS’ trauma team indefinitely.
  • This case marks the first AHS animal abuse case booked as a Class 5 felony under the new HB2671, which went into effect on August 27, 2019. HB2671 strengthens Arizona’s animal cruelty laws to ensure that the punishment for the most heinous acts of animal cruelty now fit the crime. By increasing animal cruelty charges from a Class 6 to Class 5 felony, those cases can no longer be dropped to a misdemeanor and also include the possibility of jail time and supervised probation/treatment.
  • Our immediate focus is on Miso’s medical needs and assisting law enforcement on the case. We will provide medical updates on Miso as they become available. For any questions regarding the case, please contact the Phoenix Police Department.
  • Miso is one of 7,121 cases of animal cruelty that AHS has responded to this year.


FOX 10


Phoenix man arrested under new, stricter animal cruelty law
PHOENIX — A Phoenix man is facing stiffer animal cruelty charges under an Arizona law that took effect a month ago. A medical exam found that a pug named Miso — an emotional support animal — had two broken ribs, pelvis, tooth and other injuries. “Our medical team really just wants to keep an eye on him, especially to see if there’s any internal effects that weren’t originally noted,” said Bretta Nelson, a spokeswoman with the Arizona Humane Society. She also says the new state law classified the abuse as a felony that could lead to jail time, supervised release and treatment if Netzer Villagomez, 19, is convicted of abusing his dog. “These laws will certainly show people that we’re going to take these things very seriously,” Nelson said. Phoenix police say Villagomez sent pictures of the abuse by mobile device to another person. They added that Villagomez made admissions to harming the dog on purpose. The Arizona Humane Society has responded to 7,121 calls of animal abuse in the past 11 months. Read full story.

12 News

Police: 19-year-old booked under charges of animal cruelty after hanging service dog
PHOENIX — A 19-year-old was arrested and faces charges of animal cruelty after hanging his service dog by his collar and leash, Phoenix police said. Netzer Villagomez was arrested on Sunday around 11 p.m. for cruelty to an animal near 33rd Avenue and Camelback Road, police said. Police said, Miso, a pug, was hanged twice for several seconds and Villagomez sent pictures of the abuse to another person.
An investigator from the Arizona Humane Society responded to the scene to gather evidence and took Miso to a trauma hospital, AHS said. AHS said that x-rays revealed Miso had two broken ribs, broken pelvis and a broken tooth. Miso will remain under the care of AHS’ trauma team indefinitely, AHS said. Villanueva was booked into jail and faces a class 5 felony, a class 5 felony in Arizona is punishable by more than a year behind bars. Governor Doug Ducey signed HB2671 into law in May. He said at the time this legislation would strengthen punishments for animal abusers, the change went into effect in August of this year.


Phoenix man accused of hanging dog from leash, causing injuries
A Phoenix man was arrested after he sent videos of his abused dog to another person from his cellphone, police said. Netzer Villagomez, 19, was arrested on suspicion of hanging his pug named "Miso" several times off the floor by his leash and collar with all four legs off the ground, with the intent to injure the dog, Phoenix police said Wednesday. The dog, an emotional support animal, was taken to the Second Chance Animal Hospital at the Arizona Humane Society for examination of his injuries, according to police. The exam revealed that the dog suffered two broken ribs, a broken pelvis, a broken tooth, and other injuries. Villagomez was arrested on Sept. 22 and is facing a charge of animal cruelty. The Arizona Humane Society, on its Facebook page, said the case marks the first in the state in which a person faces a charge under a tougher animal cruelty law that took effect in August. The new law reclassifies animal cruelty up to a class 5 felony that can bring a jail term of up to 18 months. Previously, the crime was a maximum class 6 felony with up to a year in jail. Read full story.

Report Suspected Animal Cruelty