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PETA wants Yorba Linda man prosecuted for cruelty

April 17, 2008 | 10:26 am

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is urging the Orange County district attorney's office to "vigorously" prosecute a man who took a video of himself abusing rabbits and a dog, then posted it on MySpace, Tony Barboza reports.

Joseph Anthony Deiss, 19, of Yorba Linda was charged last week with three counts of animal cruelty and three charges of animal abuse by a caretaker after allegedly throwing a pug and two rabbits 15 to 30 feet in the air and allowing them to hit the ground. The video was allegedly shot in Deiss' backyard in June 2007.

"They were a little dazed and confused, but it does not appear that any of the pets died as a result of this incident," said Farrah Emami, a district attorney's office spokeswoman, referring to the video.

PETA showed the video to authorities after discovering it last month, prompting investigations by Anaheim police and the district attorney's office.

-- Francisco Vara-Orta

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