VENTURA, Calif. - Police in Ventura have arrested a man for felony animal cruelty and elder abuse charges.
On Sunday afternoon, Daniel Neimeier, 33, a Ventura vagrant is accused of breaking into his mother's home in the 3800 block of Paloma Drive in violation of a court order. Once inside authorities say he vandalized the property and killed his mother's dog, a five-year-old maltese.
The victim told authorities that the dog was alive when she fled the home to call police, and later saw Naimeier carrying the body of the dog out of the home with him.
“The call from Ventura Police Department in regards to an abuse case they were investigating and they had brought the dog to us for analysis,” said Bryan Bray of Ventura County Animal Services.
He says cases like this in Ventura County are rare.
“It was kind of out of the blue, we’ve never had anything that extreme before,” said Bray.
Bray typically responds to 2 to 3 cases of animal abuse in Ventura county a month, but in his twelve years at the shelter, he says this case is troubling.
“We have had three other cases that have been similar involving family members and domestic violence which we have always found a big link between animal abuse and domestic violence,” said Bray. “This is why we work collaboratively with the sheriffs department so we can research that.”
Bray says the shelter is performing a necropsy on the dog to determine it’s exact cause of death
Investigators say Naimeier entered the home through an open rear door.
Officers responded to the Ventura home several times in the last two weeks in regard to Neimeier violating a criminal protective order. He allegedly fled before officers could arrest him in the previous instances. It remains unclear if police actually looked for him after he left the property each time.
Neimeier was placed under arrest and booked into the Ventura County Jail for felony animal cruelty, residential burglary, elder abuse and violation of a court order. His bail was set at $1,000,000.