Miami Beach police have arrested a man in the death of a Yorkshire terrier that was found with several broken ribs in a parking garage, authorities said on Wednesday.
Sigman Hernandez, 40, surrendered to Miami Beach police Wednesday and was charged of animal cruelty.
After being read his rights he confessed that he slapped and possibly choked the dog because she vomited in his car, police said.
Hernandez then told police he pushed the dog with his feet after placing her on the garage, according to a police report. He then abandoned the dog.
A Publix employee found the dog April 7 at about 11 p.m. in a parking garage next to the supermarket.
Photos of the 6-pound dog show her lying motionless on the ground next to a concrete support column and trash can between parking spaces.
The dog, who police named Lily, did not have a tag or microchip.
The employee tracked down Detective Gus Sanchez, who was working security at the Publix. With the help of Officer Pablo Gonzalez, the two were able to determine that the dog was still breaking and occasionally crying in pain.
“She was just lying on her side. She was not moving. She was yelping occasionally, and you could really see something was wrong. She was really hurt, badly,” Officer Mariana Garcia said, who also responded to the scene.
Garcia helped get Lily to an animal trauma center.
Veterinarians said the dog had seven broken ribs and signs of strangulation. There was no evidence that she could have been hit by a car.
“The canine’s midsection also appeared swollen and distorted,” according to a police report. “Her eyes were also bloodshot red and she would occasionally moan in pain.”
Lily appeared to be dying, police said, and she was in “very bad shape.”
The medical staff later determined that Lily had seven broken ribs on her left side and two broken ribs on her right side. She also had swelling in her neck.
The veterinary staff at the hospital said Lily had suffered significant blunt trauma and that her bloodshot eyes may have been a sign that she was strangled at some point.
Veterinarians tried everything to save the little dog, but she died two days later.
“This case, this person just dumped her body and was like, just discarded her and didn’t even want to take the time to (end) her misery,” Dr. Joy Carter of Doral Centre Animal Hospital said. “(He) just let her suffer and die.”
Surveillance video shows a red Toyota Yaris pulling in to the Publix parking garage off West Avenue the morning of April 7.
“The gentleman in the video is seen removing something from the passenger side and placing it down near the trash can area,” Garcia said. “We do believe it’s Lily that he removed from his vehicle.”
Hernandez is allegedly later seen taking an elevator to the bathroom before leaving.
Hernandez’s boss, Juan Barrera, said he recognized his employee from the surveillance video.
“I knew who it was,” he said.”I was real upset at what I (saw) on TV. I have a dog myself and that was not nice.”