Man arrested after report of dog abuse at Hesperia gas station leads to discovery of injured, neglected puppy

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A Victorville man was arrested on suspicion of animal cruelty after a report of dog abuse led to the discovery of an injured pit bull puppy, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department said Friday.

Deputies were dispatched to the Arco gas station at 12750 Main St. in Hesperia around 8:15 p.m. Saturday following a report of a man hitting a dog inside a vehicle, according to a Sheriff’s Department news release.

When deputies made contact with the suspect, they saw a puppy “with noticeable signs of trauma to his face” on the vehicle’s floorboard, the release read. The pit bull was estimated to be between 8 and 10 months old.

The discovery prompted deputies to call in Hesperia animal control officers to evaluate the dog. The puppy was found to have major injuries, including an open wound under his right eye, and swelling in the left cheek and left hind leg, authorities said.

Additionally, he “appeared to be extremely neglected, underweight, and is believed to have prior injuries in various stages of healing,” the release stated.

The dog was placed in the custody of animal control officers and taken for treatment. He’s expected to recover from his injuries.

The man, identified as 31-year-old Caliph Harris, was booked at the High Desert Detention Center on suspicion of cruelty to animals. His bail was set at $50,000 and he’s scheduled to appear in court on Feb. 24, according to inmate records.

A booking photo was not released.

The investigation is ongoing and anyone with information about the case is asked to call the Hesperia Police Department at 760-947-1500 or sheriff’s dispatch at 760-956-5001.

Those wishing to remain anonymous can call the We-Tip Hotline at 1-800-782-7463 or go to www.wetip.com.