A Riverside man is suspected of fatally stabbing his neighbor's pit bull moments after it killed his poodle, officials said.
Rudy Barajas, 30, was arrested Saturday morning on suspicion of animal cruelty, according to the Riverside County Department of Animal Services. He was released Sunday after posting $10,000 bail and is scheduled to appear in Riverside County Superior Court Feb. 23, according to jail records.
Barajas was arrested because he took hold of the 2-year-old pit bull, Devo, and stabbed him after his 10-month-old poodle, Spunky, had been released, officials said.
"We fully understand how upset someone can get when another person's pet attacks their dog," Animal Services Director Robert Miller said in a statement. "But no one has the right to take matters into their own hands, as what is being alleged in this particular incident."
The incident happened about 9:45 a.m. in the 4900 block of Hollyhock Lane. Devo's owner heard a commotion outside her home and saw Devo carrying Spunky in his mouth as three people tried to free the poodle.
Devo's owner told officials that Barajas dragged the pit bull onto his property and used a knife to slit the dog's throat, according to Animal Services. But Barajas' family said the poodle was on its property when it was attacked and Devo only released him after the suspect grabbed the pit bull's neck.
They added Barajas dragged the pit bull into the kitchen and cut its throat after it tried to bite one of them, according to Animal Services.
Spunky died at the scene and Devo died while its owner was bringing him to a veterinarian.
Riverside police officers were called to the scene and an investigation is ongoing.
Miller added the incident is an example of why people should keep pets on their own property.
"Tragic incidents, such as this one, can be better prevented when people have strong fences or tall walls or secure gates," he said.