Dying Dogs in Unshaded Back Yard Leads to Arrest of Phoenix Man


Pets need more than just food and exercise in the summer -- they need some damned shade, too.

Xavier Montes, 30, didn't catch on to this part of dog ownership, court records show.

At about 10 a.m. on Friday, police were called to Montes' home at 10407 West Montecito Avenue to check on a report of animal abuse. The cops could hear Montes' two dogs wheezing in the back yard from the moment they stepped from their patrol car, court records show.

The dogs were tangled up in their chains in an unshaded part of the back yard, their water bowls empty.

"We observed no water, food or shade anywhere," police wrote in a booking sheet.

One large, brown dog was lying on his side on the hot, dirt ground of the back yard. The other one acted aggressively, bleeding from the rope around its neck and panting heavily, records state.

The brown dog died before Humane Society representatives could get there, but the second animal -- which was found to have an internal temperature of 105 -- was treated and saved.

Police called Montes at work and asked him to meet them at his home, where he was arrested. He admitted to the officers that the dogs had been tied up in the yard for two days, and that he'd left them without shade or water since 5 a.m., records state.

"He thought the dogs would be fine," the officers wrote in their probable cause statement.

Montes remained in jail on Monday with a bond amount of $1,200. He's scheduled to appear in court on July 22.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.