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Las Vegas man facing charges after allegedly taping dog's mouth shut, letting it die

Posted at 7:21 AM, Apr 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-07 22:12:48-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — A Las Vegas man is in trouble after allegedly taping his dog’s mouth shut last summer.

30-year-old Lionel Torres is facing one count of willful or malicious torture, maiming or killing of a dog, cat or other animal.

On July 23, 2020, Las Vegas police received a request for help from Clark County Animal Control.

Animal Control found a dead dog with its mouth taped shut in the gutter near 4401 Vegas Valley Drive near Lamb Boulevard. They determined it would have been impossible for the dog to wrap tape around its own mouth and called police.

Police began knocking on doors and made contact with Torres in a home nearby. Torres told police that the family’s pit bull named Cali had gone missing the night before.

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Torres identified the dead dog for police. He then told police that his wife had discovered the dog missing when she came home from work on July 22. Torres claimed to have been sleeping on the couch at the time of the possible disappearance.

Torres and his wife also showed police the padlocked yard where Cali was last seen.

On July 24, Torres agreed to take a polygraph test. When he was asked if he put tape on the dog’s muzzle, deception was indicated. When told this, Torres refused to speak anymore and left.

During a search of the Torres residence, police found tape similar to that used on Cali in a shed.

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An exam of the dog revealed that the animal most likely died of a stroke as a result of its mouth being taped shut.

Based on the evidence, the detective investigating the case determined it was reasonable to believe that Torres taped Cali’s mouth shut and then disposed of the dog’s body.

A warrant of arrest was issued for Torres on Jan. 12, 2021.