Dog found rotting in animal control truck had been hit by car

ARVIN, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) - Police gave more details Friday about a dog found rotting in the city's Animal Control truck.

The dog was lost in the mix after Arvin Animal Control Officer Tim Garza was arrested and thrown in jail, where he remains in lieu of posting $320,000 bail on various domestic abuse charges.

Police Chief Louis Cobarruviaz told Eyewitness News a week ago that the dog was a Chihuahua, and he assumed it was dead before being put in the truck and left for days unattended.

Friday, police Lt. Olin Armstrong gave more details from their investigation. The dog had been hit by a car March 4 and was euthanized that day by the Animal Control officer and a Kern County officer.

Garza was arrested right after that and apparently didn't tell anyone to check his truck for the dog's body.

The dog wasn't discovered until 10 days later, when workers at Arvin City Hall smelled the rotting animal, and "blood was dripping from the vehicle onto the ground," the police chief told Eyewitness News last week.

Garza, who has been the city's Animal Control officer for about two years, was arrested on suspicion of inflicting corporal injury on a spouse or cohabitant, threatening with intent to terrorize, assault with a firearm, assault with great bodily injury, false imprisonment with violence, preventing a witness from reporting and rape by force or fear.

"We've initiated our own investigation regarding the allegations that are raised against the Animal Control officer to determine whether there's some action that should be taken against him," the police chief said.