GAIN lauds new indictment filed in pet dog ‘Pugua’ killing

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Animal cruelty charges against Gerald Wayne Cruz were dismissed earlier this year on the grounds that he was charged "improperly."

Public outrage was incited when Superior Court Judge Michael Bordallo ordered the dismissal of the felony charges against Gerald Wayne Cruz II, the man held responsible for shooting and killing several Yigo pets including a family dog named Pugua.

Despite this, it appears that the Attorney General’s Office did not give up on the fight for justice for Pugua as the AGO announced on Monday a second indictment against Cruz.

A release from the AG states: “Animal cruelty is illegal. A grand jury handed down an indictment in CF619-18 against Gerald Cruz — the defendant accused of shooting a family pet named Pugua. A true bill was given for the following charges: two counts of animal cruelty with special allegation of use of a deadly weapon in the commission of a felon, three counts of possession of an unregistered firearm, and one count of unsworn falsification.”

Pugua was one of the pets allegedly shot and killed in Yigo by Gerald Wayne Cruz.

When the case was first brought before the court, Cruz was charged with animal cruelty among other offenses. But in February, Superior Court Judge Michael Bordallo Cruz dismissed all felony charges against Cruz, saying the case failed to prove the element of cruelty.

This caused outrage in the community and in search of justice Guam Animals in Need board president Cyrus Luhr says GAIN pleaded with the Office of the Attorney General to continue to pursue charges against Cruz.

“I think we were all disappointed and dismayed by the developments in the case. The community really wants to see animal welfare be a priority especially when it comes to enforcement and so to see that happen was very frustrating. That’s why we called upon the attorney general to continue to pursue the case and we are very pleased and thankful to see these latest developments to see that the purported killer of Pugua will have his day in court,” Luhr said.

Luhr said there is an expectation that why Pugua was cruelly killed is better outlined in this indictment so that what happened in Bordallo’s courtroom will not happen again.

“We believe that there is a lot of case law existing stateside that would support Pugua’s killer being held accountable for his actions. In fact, the cruelty killed language is used in states like Oregon and we believe that it can be enforced. We certainly don’t think that it is not cruel to go onto someone’s private property and execute a family dog with a gun just mere feet from someone’s the front door. There’s no word that you can argue that that’s not cruel,” Luhr said.

It will be recalled that there are three cases of animal cruelty which have surfaced. While Sumo the Dobberman’s killer is still in the courts, there is another case of a pitbull who was neglected by its owner who allowed a tumor on the dog to grow to the size of a basketball.

Luhr says that he believes that what the island is seeing now is enforcement catching up with the community’s values and stance on animal abuse

“The community has made it very clear that animal abuse is wrong. And it’s time to start seeing the enforcement see its way through the courts I think that our community has spoken that animal welfare is an issue and we are seeing more cases like this being seen by the courts and justice being served,” he said.

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Jolene Toves
Jolene joined the PNC team in 2017, as a producer, co-anchor and investigative reporter covering law enforcement, courts and crimes. Notable coverage includes the Ehlert case, the Mark Torre Jr. trial, the Allan Agababa trial, exclusive pieces on the Life of a Drug Dealer/Addict, and Life behind bars...the story of Honofre Chargualaf and Kevin Cruz. In 2019, she was promoted to Assistant News Director and Lead Anchor. From 2015 to 2017 she served as Public Relations and Promotions Manager, for the Hotel Nikko Guam handling local radio and advertorial promotions, as well as produced and directed tv commercials for the hotel. Prior to this she worked with KUAM for three years as a reporter and segment host. She began her journalism career in 2012, working with Glimpses of Guam contributing to the Guam Business Magazine, R&R magazine, MDM magazine and the Marianas Business Journal.