A Central California man who chained a pit bull to a street sign and starved it to within days of death faces up to six years in state prison after he was convicted Tuesday of animal cruelty.
Prosecutors said that 44-year-old Valentino Torres also forced the pit bull to drink from a mud puddle. The dog would have died had an animal control officer not come across the emaciated canine in September 2009, the Fresno Bee reported.
The officer found the dog tied to a street sign in central Madera and covered in sores, its bones clearly visible. A veterinarian testified in Madera County Superior Court that the dog was within days of dying when rescued, according to the Bee.
Torres allegedly admitted to tying the 3-year-old dog, which he had owned since it was a puppy, to the sign. Torres was previously convicted of unlawfully discharging a firearm in a grossly negligent manner, which Madera County District Atty. Michael R. Keitz told the Bee would factor into his sentence.
He is slated to be sentenced later in October.