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A man bound a dog’s legs and mouth with duct tape, then threw it out the window of his vehicle in rural Jefferson County, where a deputy found it in a ditch about 12 hours later, charges say.
Sheriff Dave Marshak said a deputy on patrol found the dog Saturday morning, near Old State Road M and Schneider Road in the Antonia area.
The black-and-brown dachshund was cold, malnourished and possibly suffering from a concussion. Temperatures the night before were in the teens, Marshak noted.
The dog, named “Jimmy” by workers at the animal hospital to which he was taken, is getting better, Marshak reported.
On Thursday, Paul Garcia, 39, of Barnhart was charged with felony animal abuse and armed criminal action. Authorities say Garcia wrapped electrical and duct tape around the dog’s mouth and legs before dumping it. Garcia was in custody Thursday with bail set at $50,000.
The key to making the arrest came when the sheriff’s deputy who found Jimmy decided to keep the electrical tape, said Jefferson County sheriff’s office spokesman Grant Bissell.
Investigators were then able to freeze the tape and find fingerprints.
Garcia came up as a match in a database, Bissell said.
Garcia was not the dog’s owner, and the sheriff’s office is still searching for the owner, Bissell said.
Jimmy is being cared for by Jefferson County Animal Control.
Erin Heffernan of the Post-Dispatch contributed to this report.