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Texas driver who outraged the public by abandoning German Shepherd in broad daylight is illegally in U.S. and under arrest, jail records say

Ramiro Zuniga mugshot in dog abandonment case

Ramiro Zuniga (L) in a Dallas County Jail mugshot, (R) the moment the German Shepherd was abandoned on the side of Dowdy Ferry Road (WFAA screengrab).

The man who sparked outrage by abandoning a German Shepherd in broad daylight in Texas has been arrested, charged, and identified as an individual illegally in the U.S., the Dallas Police Department and county jail records say.

Ramiro Zuniga, 41, was arrested Saturday and charged with a misdemeanor animal cruelty charge, stemming from an incident that shocked locals last Wednesday evening.

‘Makes me sick to my stomach’: Texans outraged over video of owner abandoning German Shepherd on side of road, speeding off

The video, which was recorded by the animal rescue group the Dowdy Ferry Animal Commission, clearly showed an adult male abandoning the dog by Dowdy Ferry Road and Teagarden Road before speeding off, even as witnesses yelled at him. In one heartbreaking moment, the dog briefly chased after the white Chevrolet SUV into oncoming traffic. The canine avoided being hit, however, thanks to the alert and caring citizens who witnessed the abandonment in the first place.

The Dallas Police Department confirmed to Law&Crime that the then-“unknown suspect” abandoned the dog around 6:04 p.m. on Wednesday.

“Animal control responded and recovered the dog in good condition,” police noted.

In an update over the weekend, the Dallas Police Department said that Zuniga was identified as the suspect and that a search warrant was executed at his residence.

“On March 11, 2023, the Dallas Police Department’s Southeast CRT team executed a search warrant on Zuniga’s home, locating the vehicle used in the crime, and Zuniga was taken into custody,” cops said.

Zuniga was booked thereafter at the Dallas County Jail on the cruelty to non-livestock animals misdemeanor charge. While bond was set at $4,000, jail records said Zuniga was the subject of an immigration hold requested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

According to ICE Officials, Zuniga is a Mexican national who illegally entered the U.S. near Laredo in 2004. He’s now in ICE custody pending the outcome of the immigration case.

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Matt Naham is the Senior A.M. Editor of Law&Crime.