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Dog tortured with machete; Santa Ana auto shop owner arrested

April 15, 2011 |  9:53 am

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