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Felony charges sought in death of dog in Riverside County

June 1, 2010 |  5:27 pm
Felony animal cruelty charges are being sought against a Riverside County man in a case involving a dog that died after it was tied to a fence, authorities said Tuesday.

The county Department of Animal Services said it was seeking the charges against James Taylor, a Palm Desert resident who was engaged in an ongoing dispute regarding his neighbor's pit bull.

Taylor told animal control officers that the dog had become aggressive and had bitten his wife and children. Animal services officials said there was no evidence that the dog had caused any injuries to people or other animals.

On May 7, Taylor called the department and said he had tied up the 2-year-old pit bull after it had gotten loose again, authorities said. Taylor said he had gotten into a fight with the dog's owner and requested that animal control officers respond to his home in the 73-900 block of Mountain View Avenue, according to the department.

When an officer arrived, the dog was dead. Department Capt. Betsy Richie said an investigation concluded that the dog's death was caused on purpose and that a necropsy report indicated that the animal died from "asphyxia by strangulation."

The case has been forward to the Riverside County district attorney's office.

-- Robert J. Lopez