Published: Apr 01, 2013 10:43 AM EDT
Updated: Apr 01, 2013 6:33 PM EDT

CAPE CORAL, Fla.- Cape Coral Police say they arrested a 52-year-old man last night for his role in a brutal case of animal abuse. Pedro Moreta, of 4322 Palm Tree Blvd., was arrested on charges of Felony Animal Cruelty.

Officers received a call Sunday just before 11:00 p.m. about a man dragging and kicking two dogs as he walked along the 1200 block of Cape Coral Parkway. The caller believed that one of the dogs may have been dead. Within minutes, officers arrived and made contact with Moreta who indeed had two puppies on a single leash. The puppies, weighing about 5 pounds each, were cowering under Moreta as he spoke with officers.

Moreta appeared intoxicated and had just purchased beer from the Citgo Station prior to officers stopping him. The two dogs were shaking and crying. Moreta stated the puppies were approximately 8 weeks old. The tan female puppy "Bella" was shaking and bleeding excessively from her paws and rear legs as she lay on the asphalt. The black puppy "Blaca" was shaking and had difficulty standing. When asked by officers what he was doing, Moreta replied that the dogs did not want to walk so he was dragging them along.

Animal Control Officers determined that the injuries sustained by the puppies were indeed abuse. Animal Control further determined that the injuries were severe enough to be considered life-threatening. The puppies have since survived, and are undergoing surgeries.

The tan puppy, Bella, had most of her front paw pads torn off. Bella also had severe scrapes and possible chemical burns on her rear legs. Bella's rear pads were torn apart along with the front of her rear legs which was caused when she was too exhausted to resist and collapsed as she was being dragged. Bella also sustained scraps and cuts to her stomach. Bella was bleeding from all four of her paws and was shaking uncontrollably during the investigation. Bella and Blaca, who are only 8 weeks old, would cower when Moreta would come near them. At one point Blaca walked over to Bella and laid on top of her to shield her from Moreta.

The investigation revealed that Moreta intentionally caused unnecessary and repeated pain to both the 8 week old puppies. As a result, Moreta was placed under arrest for animal cruelty and taken to the Lee County Jail. The dogs were taken by Lee County Animal Control.

During the arrest, Moreta continued to joke about the matter and asked the arresting officers "who gives a [expletive] about some [expletive] dogs."