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Alleged serial pet killer arrested

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A suspect in what appears to be a series of canine killings in Yigo has been placed under arrest. Pugua the dog was found shot to death on private property late last month. His alleged killer was arrested on Thursday afternoon.

KUAM cameras were on scene as Gerald Cruz was processed at the Hagatna Precinct. Police have yet to release details on the investigation. Animal rights advocates, however, are applauding authorities.

Guam Animals In Need board of directors president Cyrus Luhr said, "We're very interested in these latest developments in the case and we are impressed by the speed and thoroughness that GPD has shown in prioritizing this case. This is something the public is outraged by. We've gotten many calls from the community, both with tips and people also wanting updates." He added, "It's reassuring to know that authorities are taking this case seriously."

Pugua's case appears to be connected to other canine killings in the same neighborhood - around the same time a man made threats to him and other dogs. A day after his discovery, another dog was found dead just houses down. An autopsy revealed both pups had died from gunshot wounds.

GAIN reports the case isn't isolated: along the same stretch of street a Rottweiler was shot to death while a golden retriever survived shots from a pellet gun. "These were all pets that belonged to families. And to have them shot and killed on their own property is really gruesome and scary," said Luhr.

GAIN on Wednesday upped a cash reward to $3,000 for information leading to an arrest or grand jury indictment in this case. "We have not been told yet who might be the person or persons who provided the tip," Luhr said.  "We look forward to being able to provide the reward to whomever was able to provide tips to authorities."

Pugua's family - Nate and Alexie Mapson - reacted to Cruz's arrest, with Nate saying, "We're just so relieved that we think we have the guy that did this. I've never see him before. I don't know who this guy is. Neither does my wife. We don't know why anybody would do this. Let's hope we're closer to getting some answers."

The Mapsons also extend their thanks to GAIN, territorial veterinarian Dr. Thomas Poole, the Rotary Club, GPD, Isla Vet Clinic, and Harper Vet Clinic, as well as all those who supported them.

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