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Dog tortured with machete; Santa Ana auto shop owner arrested

DY A Santa Ana auto shop owner accused of torturing his pit bull terrier with a machete to the point it had to be euthanized has been arrested for felony animal cruelty.

Santa Ana investigators arrested Khoa Van Pham on Thursday but hope a woman who came into a business on North Harbor Boulevard on Monday to report a man was killing a dog with a machete nearby comes forward to help.

“This dog was tortured. The pictures are horrible,” said Cpl. Anthony Bertagna. “He was arrested for a felony section on crimes against animals … if we can prove he left that dog to suffer from Monday to Thursday, that would be another serious felony. That is cruel and inhumane.”

Animal control officials discovered the stray dog in the 320 block of North Harbor Boulevard after Pham reported a stray dog in the area. He told them it had been fighting with another dog, Bertagna said.

Investigators took the gravely injured pit bull to a veterinarian who discovered it had a microchip because the animal had been adopted from Orange County. Records showed the dog had been adopted in 2009 by Pham, a Huntington Beach resident.

The veterinarian determined the dog’s injuries were consistent with those inflicted by a sharp or precision instrument, such as a knife or machete, rather than a dog fight, Bertagna said. Officers interviewed Pham, who persisted in denying the animal was his.

Investigators then talked to a nearby business owner, who reported an alarmed woman had come into his store Monday, saying a man was wielding a machete on a dog.

Bertagna said Pham owns another pit bull and chihuahua, which he claimed may have died.

Investigators are asking the woman or anyone else who saw the dog being tortured to assist them with the investigation and contact Santa Ana Animal Control at (714) 245-8792.


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-- Richard Winton

Photo: Khoa Van Pham's booking photo. Courtesy of: KTLA

Comments () | Archives (33)

hope he gets what he deserves in prison

The very best Santa Ana has to offer.

I hope this horrible human being gets a large stay in jail, this story makes me sick to my stomach. This guy should be banned from ever owning an animal again! These kind of a-holes should have to register and check in like sex offenders....serial killer in the making.

What a horrible human. I am disgusted.

"Bertagna said Pham owns another pit bull and chihuahua, which he claimed may have died."

Uh-huh. This is one sick freak, he's taking his agression out on helpless animals.

This guy needs to be put away for a long, long time.

This is horrible. I just cry reading this. He denied his own dog and worst tortured him... RIP little dog, you didn't have to die that way, but they put you away now you are not suffering.

It's too bad animal cruelty doesn't hold the same type of conviction as if it were cruelty done to a person. This man has no heart no soul.

People who start abusing animals often move on to doing stuff to humans.

This should follow this guy for the rest of his days so his neighbors and co-workers can be forewarned.

I have a couple of shelter pits that would love to meet this guy.

If you are involved in Pitbull rescue at all...this is not shocking, it is an everyday occurance. Pitbulls are attacked and tortured constantly, most of the time by their owners because the owners dont get these dogs out of love...they get them as because they want to make the dog mean, usually because they themselves are pathetic and weak. When they find out it is pretty hard to make a pitbull mean, they use extreme measures. A mean pitbull is a tortured pitbull.
The sad thing is that people are afraid of pitbulls...it should be the other way around.
RIP little buddy, I am sorry your ended up with that monster.

The death penalty should cover this type of crime.

This story makes me so freaking MAD ! This monster (Mr.Pham) probubly has either eaten his missing dogs or has buried them at his place of business.
This monster whatched this poor animal suffer for 3 days unforgiveable. Mr.Pham in this country we love our animals and love them like a family member. Shame on YOU ! Thank God for the woman who called the police.

If he gets out I hope his name, picture and address get posted on the web somewhere. He'll get his then.


If I were a pack of dogs......

Why isn't he charged with murder???

Registered. Animal. Offender. List.

Sick sick man!!! This story is appalling!! THis information needs to be posted on yelp so when people google this shop this haness crime follows him. I hope he gets the worst judge possible...Please LA Times continue to cover this down to the trial so they make a TRUE example out of this disgusted pig!!!

That Makes Me Want To Cry........... He Deserves To Be In Prison I Love Animals And Will Do Anything For Them <3 :(

Dogs & cats are food in SE Asia, celebrate diversity. In Vietnam & S China this is called preparing dinner. Yes, they feel the more a dog suffers, the better its meat will taste.

His attorney might argue that there are no US laws against cruelty to fish, rats, snakes or insects, which are routinely killed in cruel ways.

Not my thing, & I feel Pham should be charged with a felony, but something for the wacky, PC crowd to think about. Invite the world to America, avoid assimilating them & we will get some different customs we may not like.

At first I didn't want to read this story. But I did and it broke my heart.

However, the readers' comments made me feel better. The humanity brings hope to a world where sick fiends like that live in.

Filthy pig! Let's not forget about this. May his business fail and his life be filled with endless suffering.

The question is how many more creeps like him exsist, I can't stand reading about jerks like these, it just fouls up my entire day, to bad the only way this guy feels good about himself is hurting animals, may he rote in hell

Unless the dog was attacking him (which of course it wasn't, because there are no reports of this man being critically injured), this is disgusting and unacceptable.

People that torture animals move on to torturing humans as their next big kick. Let's put him in jail before he hurts anyone or anything else.

What a SIKO!!! People (if you can call them that) who do this
need to be put down themselves, I'm sorry. If they do that to an innocent animal, wat will they do to a human?! Maybe he'd like the same treatment? NO animal even a bitbull deserves that kind of torture. People who abuse animals (and kids) are SERIOUSLY ILL!

Thy will be done,............. and maybe done again !

This monster is one that got away......?

Koha is my mechanic. He does great work at a very reasonable price.

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