AZ Family: Cracking Down on Animal Cruelty

News Highlights:

  • On Wednesday, March 24, 2021, Miso’s abuser, Netzer Villagomez, was found guilty via a plea of Class 5 Animal Cruelty (the highest level for animal cruelty in Arizona) due to the horrific nature of this case. Learn more about this horrific case of animal cruelty in 2019 here.
  • As a part of the plea agreement, Villagomez was sentenced to the following: 120 days in jail; Three years supervised probation; 360 hours of community service; No contact w/ victims; A mental health assessment; Attend anger management counseling; Drug monitoring and counseling; An order to not own, possess, harbor, keep or maintain animals during the length of probation; and Restitution paid to AHS.
  • This case marks the first Arizona Humane Society animal abuse case booked and sentenced as a Class 5 felony under HB2671 which went into effect on August 27, 2019.
  • HB2671 strengthens Arizona’s animal cruelty laws to ensure that the punishment for the most heinous acts of animal cruelty now more appropriately fit the crime.
  • Last year, AHS’ Animal Cruelty Investigators responded to 6,211 cases of suspected animal cruelty.