LOS ANGELES — As Laura Mendez sat at her desk this past Saturday she was not expecting to bear witness to a shocking instance of animal abuse. The police records keeper, heard a man yelling, and banging what she thought to be his belongings on the counter as he entered the lobby of the South Pasadena Police Department.
The commotion caught her attention and as she looked at the lobby’s surveillance monitor above her desk. She witnessed a man kicking a small dog several times, and then fiercely whipping the dog in a circular motion on her leash and then dragging her from the station. The entire incident caught on camera.
Mendez, obviously concerned for this dog’s safety, immediately alerted officers who quickly located and apprehended him. Charles Andrew Najera, 48, has been arrested and charged with Animal Cruelty. Najera has a lengthily criminal record with a history of assault charges and other offences. He spent the weekend in Twin Towers Correctional Facility on $20,0– bail, and is expected to go before a judge Tuesday.
It is thanks to the keen and watchful eyes of Mendez that the eight pound Chihuahua is resting today at the Pasadena Humane Society. After a thorough checkup by veterinary staff it was determined that the dog did not suffer any fractures, serious or permanent injuries, but is going to remain in their care. It is not known who the dog belongs to, and she will likely be placed up for adoption if her owners don’t come forward and claim her.