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APD looking for man who allegedly beat, burned ex-girlfriend’s dog

John Santiago

SANTIAGO: Police worry he may harm ex-girlfriend

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A woman who had been having problems with her ex-boyfriend came home July 13 to an awful scene.

Her ex-boyfriend was holding Teddy, her 8-year-old Pomeranian, limp and bleeding in his arms. When she went inside, she found dog-shaped imprints on a wall and a mirror, and police believe her ex-boyfriend, 28-year-old John Santiago, broke into her home and repeatedly threw the small dog into the walls and burned him.

The woman took Teddy to a veterinarian, who said that the dog had burns all over his body, including on his eyes. He also had a facial fracture, brain swelling and missing teeth, and had to be euthanized because his injuries were so serious, according to court records.

Albuquerque police are now urgently searching for Santiago because they’re worried he’ll return to his ex-girlfriend’s house and harm her, according to police spokesman Tanner Tixier. They’ve filed a warrant for his arrest on multiple felony charges, including extreme cruelty to animals.

When officers interviewed the woman, she said she and Santiago broke up in September. But she believed he began stalking her this summer, as he began showing up at places where she would typically go, according to the criminal complaint filed against him.

On July 13, they got in a fight on the phone. When she returned home that night, she found Santiago outside her home holding Teddy, who was limp and bleeding. She persuaded him to hand over the dog and rushed him to an emergency veterinarian, but Teddy had to be euthanized.

One of the woman’s neighbors told police she had been walking her own dog when her dog freaked out and she noticed Santiago in the woman’s front yard, spraying Teddy with a hose. He told the neighbor he was cooling Teddy off and started talking to the dog, who wasn’t moving.

“Come on boy, let’s go for a walk,” he said to Teddy, according to the complaint. The neighbor thought Santiago was acting in a bizarre manner.

“She felt very uneasy and she got scared, so she took her pet inside of her home to distance herself from John,” the officer wrote in the complaint.

Santigago fled after his ex-girlfriend arrived home. Tixier asked anyone with information about Santiago’s whereabouts to call police at 242-COPS.