Las Vegas man accused of starving dog to death faces animal cruelty charge

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A man is facing a felony charge of animal cruelty after his German Shepherd starved to death and died on his apartment patio without him noticing, according to police documents.

On Jan. 19, Clark County animal control officers learned from concerned neighbors that Ivan Lopez Ruiz had two dogs on his patio and one of them hadn’t moved for a long time. The arrest report said when the dog’s owner became uncooperative, Las Vegas Metropolitan police were called to the apartment at Alexander and Pecos roads.

The dog, called Trixie, that hadn’t moved was dead. Animal control officers rated the dog at 1 out of 10, the lowest possible rating, on a body condition scale. At level 1, an animal is considered emaciated and would have ribs, pelvic bones, and a backbone evident from a distance and have no discernible body fat.

The Metro officers noted there was no sign of water on the patio, no bedding, and there were sanitation issues, claw marks, and the dead dog was covered in urine, the report stated.

Lopez told animal control officers he didn’t know his 5-year-old dog was dead but he admitted the last time he fed her was about a week earlier and assumed his boyfriend, who co-owned Trixie with him, would feed her, police documents said.

Lopez told officers he had a very demanding work schedule and there were communication problems between him and the boyfriend on the feeding schedule.

Neighbors also told officers they would throw water onto the patio so the dogs had something to drink.

Lopez Ruiz is scheduled to be in court on Feb. 26, 2024.

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