GUAM—Detectives of the Guam Police Department arrested on Friday Gerald Wayne Cruz II for a series of gruesome pet killings in Yigo. He is charged with two counts of animal cruelty (as a third-degree felony), with a special allegation of possession or use of a deadly weapon in the commission of a felony. More charges are possible as the case develops.
In a new development, Cruz is also being charged for the killing of a cat in May. Per a magistrate’s complaint filed Friday, witnesses saw Cruz shoot and kill a cat in a neighbor’s yard with a .22 rifle. The complaint also states that Cruz’s wife witnessed him killing the cat, as well as his shooting and killing of a pet dog named Pugua.
Cruz admits to killing the cat, per the complaint, but he denies killing Pugua.
The case has been forwarded to the Office of the Attorney General for prosecution. The first court appearance is scheduled for 3pm Friday, Oct. 12.
The penalty for animal cruelty (as a third-degree felony) is imprisonment for up three years (or up to five years if an individual has prior convictions), and a fine of up to $5,000. Additionally, the use of a firearm in committing a felony may result in a minimum of five years imprisonment.
“These killings were gruesome and senseless,” said Cyrus Luhr, GAIN board president. “We’re relieved a suspect was arrested, and look forward to swift justice for Pugua.”
GAIN or Guam Animals in Need, recently announced a $3,000 reward for information related to the case; $1,000 to be awarded upon an arrest, and $2,000 upon conviction.
“We don’t yet know who provided the tips that cracked the case,” said Luhr, “but we look forward to giving out the reward.”
GAIN will now follow-up with local authorities, as well as Guam Crime Stoppers, to determine who provided the information that helped solve the case. “We believe rewards help stop animal abuse, and with the aid of local donors, we hope to provide more rewards in the future,” Luhr added.
The $3,000 reward on information on Pugua’s killer was made possible thanks to generous donations by members of the Rotary Club of Guam, Dr. Thomas Poole, the territorial veterinarian, and additional donors who wish to remain anonymous.
“We thank GPD for their hard work on the case,” said Luhr. “The public is outraged by these horrific killings, and we’ve received many, many requests for updates. Numerous business and local leaders have stepped forward asking how they can help. We’re eager to see this case proceed and get answers.”
Cruz was arrested and confined following interviews with potential witnesses, according to a statement issued by GPD Friday morning. These witnesses saw Cruz make threats against Pugua; a day after, Pugua was found shot dead in a family friend’s carport. Numerous firearms and ammunition were confiscated from Cruz’s home.
A gentle and playful 2-year-old Jack Russell and boonie mix, Pugua’s body was found shot and possibly beaten in the carport of a family friend who was taking care of him during the day. (PR)