Arturo Martinez and Enrique Zavala-Martinez

Ears cut off 4-month old Pit Bull puppy

Springdale, AR Washington County

June 2, 2006

18-year old Arturo Martinez has been sentenced to a year in jail and will have to pay a $1,000 fine for having the ears cut off a 4-month old Pit Bull puppy.  Martinez was charged with cruelty to animals and received the maximum sentence from Springdale District Judge Stan Ludwig on Friday, August 11th.

Police and Animal Control Officers were called on June 2nd to a Springdale address in response to a dog bite report. When they arrived, and Animal Control Officer saw an adult Pit Bull with its ears snipped to the skull and a puppy also had similar wounds, which were scabbed over.

Martinez told officials his uncle had used scissors to cut off the dog’s ears.  Springdale Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Amber Roe stated the Martinez admitted he took the dog to have its ears cut off and that he did not see anything wrong with that.  Removing a pit bull's ears is a custom normally performed on dogs used for fighting.

Update December 29, 2006:

Enrique Zavala-Martinez received 6 months in jail with 5 1/2 months suspended on the condition he commits no similar offenses.  He was fined $250 and $100 in court costs for cruelty to animals. Zavala-Martinez is the uncle of Arturo Martinez, owner of the puppy.  Zavala-Martinez plead guilty to cruelty to animals and did not ask for a trial.

Update January 19, 2007:

Arturo Martinez, age 18, of 309 Hatfield Lane, will spend his weekends in jail for cutting the ears off his 4-month old puppy.  Martinez plead guilty in Springdale District Court to inhumane treatment of an animal and cruelty to animals in August, 2006.

Martinez appealed to Washington County Circuit Court but entered a plea to the cruelty to an animal charge rather than go to trial.  Inhumane treatment is a city ordinance, which carries no jail time.  Cruelty to animals is a state offense punishable by a maximum $1,000 fine and up to 1 year in jail.  The city charge was dropped as part of the plea.  The jail time on appeal is the same as that receive of Zavala-Martinez.  Neither man admitted cutting the ears.


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