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Utah man beat, shot, then abandoned 9-month-old puppy, police say

A man was arrested in West Jordan Thursday after police say he beat and shot a 9-month-old puppy.

A man was arrested in West Jordan Thursday after police say he beat and shot a 9-month-old puppy. (Shutterstock)


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WEST JORDAN — A man was arrested Thursday after police say he tortured his 9-month-old puppy multiple times, culminating with the animal being shot and abandoned and now presumed dead.

Anthony Nicklos Soto, 21, was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail for investigation of two counts of torture of a companion animal and aggravated cruelty to animals.

In July, Soto and his girlfriend adopted a Husky-mix puppy named Mya. The abuse began shortly after the couple got the dog, according to West Jordan police, and on July 23, Soto allegedly beat the puppy with a weapon.

"(Soto) took the crowbar-like tool and forcefully hit the companion animal on the top of the head," according to a police booking affidavit, which also says a witness "observed (Soto) strike the companion animal five times."

The next day, Soto shot the puppy while it "was cowered under the bed," the affidavit states.

Soto thought the dog was deceased. But when Mya was discovered to still be alive, he "repeatedly hit the dog with the metal bed frame," the affidavit says. Soto then took the puppy to an unknown location off state Route 111, also known as 8400 West and Bacchus Highway, and abandoned it, according to police.

"(Soto) knowingly abandoned the companion animal in the field without food, water, shelter or veterinary care. A thorough search of the area where the animal was believed to be abandoned was performed but the companion animal was not located," police wrote in the arrest report.

Officers noted that as of Friday there were also two domestic violence investigations pending against Soto, one of those "involving a firearm and a possible aggravated kidnapping," according to the affidavit.

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Pat Reavy is a longtime police and courts reporter. He joined the KSL.com team in 2021, after many years of reporting at the Deseret News and KSL NewsRadio before that.

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