Duct tape that bound dog found in freezing Missouri ditch leads to arrest

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Mo. - A Missouri man accused of binding a dog's snout and legs together with duct tape and abandoning the animal in a cold ditch has been arrested, according to the Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney's Office.

Prosecutors charged Paul Garcia, 39, of Barnhart, with animal abuse and armed criminal action after investigators managed to pull a crucial clue from the duct tape, according to KTVI.

A spokesperson for the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office said one of their deputies found the dog, a dachshund mix, while on patrol Saturday in Imperial Township.

The dog was cold, malnourished, and possibly suffering from a concussion. Police said the temperature was around 30 degrees, and had dipped into the teens the night before.

Prosecutors charged Paul Garcia, 39, with animal abuse and armed criminal action. (Jefferson County Sheriff's Office)

The duct tape was kept as evidence by the deputy and that led to an arrest of a suspect.

"The deputy [had] that forethought to save that duct tape and take it back to the evidence lab, and the techs worked on it for hours and they were able to slowly peel that duct tape apart and they found a fingerprint on the sticky side of it," said Grant Bissell, a spokesman for the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office.

The dog, who officers have nicknamed "Jimmy," was rushed to Ivan Animal Hospital in House Springs and has been in recovery.

"His prognosis looks very good," said Dr. Laura Ivan, veterinarian at  Ivan Animal Hospital. "He has a little bit of a residual head tilt which basically implies that he is off balance a little bit, which when they tilt their head they're actually seeing straight ahead of us. But he's been happy, he wags his tail a lot, he's active, he's eating."

Prosecutors charged Paul Garcia, 39, with animal abuse and armed criminal action.

Authorities don't know why Garcia duct-taped the dog and said they're still looking for the dog's owner.

Garcia remains jailed Thursday evening on a $50,000 cash-only bond.

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