Hidalgo has registered three public reports of animal abuse in the past two weeks, leading an animal rights group to speak out about increasing violence against animals.
“Animal abuse in the state of Hidalgo has been increasing,” the Pachuca-based animal rights group La Jauría de Balú said in a statement. “We are very worried for the safety of all animals, regardless of species.”
The most recent incident was in Las Bóvedas, a community in the Atotonilco de Tula municipality, just over 50 kilometers north of Mexico City.
In images shared on Facebook by La Jauría de Balú, a black SUV can be seen dragging a medium-sized dog down the street at night. The animal was tied to the vehicle by one of its back legs and appeared to be unconscious or exhausted. The images eventually were shared on several social media sites.
On Thursday, the Atotonilco government announced that it had arrested an unidentified 44-year-old man in connection with the incident. The newspaper Excelsior reported that he had been found while in the same car seen in the images online. The online news media outlet Punto Por Punto also reported that the man arrested was a businessman from Apaxco, México state.
The dog was later located dead in an abandoned lot near the Atotonilco-Tlamaco highway in Hidalgo, Excelsior said.
Municipal officials were initially under fire over the incident when La Jauría de Balú claimed that a person who called the 089 crime reporting line about the incident had been told by operators that nothing could be done. However, the municipal government released a statement stating that the municipality had been informed and that a municipal police unit responded to the report.
With security cameras, they said, authorities identified the vehicle en route as it headed into another municipality, which aided them in the arrest.
Two other animal abuse incidents have been publicly reported in the state recently: in one case, a donkey was dragged behind a vehicle, much like the dog in Las Bóvedas. In the other incident, municipal employees of Chapulhuacán, in northern Hidalgo, were documented abusing a dog.