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A man was charged with animal abuse after wrapping duct tape around a dog’s mouth and legs and dumping it in a Missouri ditch in frigid weather because he thought the animal was spying on him for police, authorities say.
According to Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, a black and brown dachshund, named Jimmy by authorities, was found bound in electrical and duct tape in a ditch on Feb. 9 by a patrol officer.
“He was cold, starving and may have had a concussion,” police said in a statement. “A deputy found him while on patrol and took the dog to an animal hospital.”
Authorities believed the dog was left in the ditch for about 12 hours before being discovered.
Citing charging documents, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported the suspect, identified as Paul Garcia, told police he found the dog under his truck while he was installing some speakers in the vehicle.
The 39-year-old told authorities he became paranoid of the dog, thinking the animal had a camera attached to it and was concerned law authorities were tracking his movements, the newspaper reported.
Garcia was arrested after investigators took fingerprints off the electrical tape.
Jimmy spent several days receiving treatment before being reunited with his owner on Saturday. The owner, who lives near the accused, said her dog, actually named Flick, had run away.
Garcia was charged with felony animal abuse and armed criminal action and is being held on a $50,000 bail.