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Santa Clara firefighter on leave after admitting he killed his puppy

Authorities say a firefighter with the Santa Clara Fire Department has been placed on paid administrative leave following his arrest on suspicion of killing his pet German shepherd at his home.

The San Jose Mercury News reports that 32-year-old Nicholas Joseph Luiz was arrested by police in Napa, where he lives, on suspicion of felony animal cruelty. He is not in jail.

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Santa Clara Fire Chief Bill Kelly said that Luiz has been taken off the job and that an internal investigation is ongoing.

Officers were called to Luiz's home in Napa after receiving multiple complaints that he had been abusing his puppy. While serving a search warrant Wednesday, police found the dog dead inside the home, and Luiz admitted to killing the animal.

It wasn't immediately clear whether Luiz had an attorney who could comment on his behalf.

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