Sunday, May 20, 2012

Dog whose owner hit him with rocks and concrete now needs rescue

Oso needs a rescue group to rehabilitate and rehome him.
A couple of weeks ago, Oso’s owner was arrested for pelting him with rocks and slabs of concrete, then swinging at him with a shovel, according to media reports confirmed by the Phoenix Police Department of Arizona. Oso tried to get away but couldn’t. His owner, Omar Beltran Nunez, had tied him up with wire between two tires in his Phoenix backyard. 

Nunez, 32, wouldn’t stop abusing his dog—not even when ordered to do so by a police officer who had responded to a neighbor’s report about Oso’s crying.

Later, Nunez was charged with animal cruelty.

And Oso, like many dogs whose owners are arrested, ended up in a shelter.

He remains there now, waiting for a way out.

Oso not doing well in the shelter

“Oso comes over to us and engages with us one on one,” ArizonaHumane Society (AHS) Public Relations Manager Bretta Nelson told Animal Policy Examiner in an email interview. “You can tell that he definitely seeks attention, as you can imagine after the situation he was most likely in prior to arriving at the shelter.”

“However, in the shelter environment he is having a very difficult time,” Nelson continued. “It is our hope that a rescue [group] partner will come forward so he can get into an environment that is much better for him.”

Nelson said that a behavior evaluation of Oso, a three-year-old, 82-pound Labrador-German shepherd mix, indicates he is “injuriously aggressive” toward other dogs.

“As of right now, none of our adoption partners have responded to our alert for Oso. However,” she added, “AHS is working with our various rescue organization partners to see who might be able to take Oso and work with him.”

Oso is not yet neutered [a procedure that some say can help reduce dog-on-dog aggression], because “he came to us unaltered and due to the confiscate hold, we cannot perform that surgery until he has been released to us,” Nelson explained.

She requested that any rescue organization interested in helping please email AHS directly at

Oso’s friends in the Phoenix Police Department

Oso’s champions in the Phoenix Police Department include Sgt. Randy Hutson of the Family Investigations Division, which handles domestic violence cases. Hutson has been concerned that Oso as well as another dog, Rolo, who came into the shelter separately from an unrelated incident, might be euthanized.

“It seems wrong to rescue a dog from abuse and then put him down,” Hutson told Animal Policy Examiner in an email interview. “I believe I would rather dodge rocks than be put down.”

Hutson and his detectives have been trying to help rehome the two dogs. “It is Detective Melissa Myers who started this with Rolo and is networking to find him a home,” he said. 

“This is very unusual for us,” Hutson explained, “but I would like to see these two [Oso and Rolo] adopted because we the police intervened in their behalf and now they could be put down. Oso was shaved by HSA to examine him for signs of abuse to aid in the criminal case. After that effort I can’t see him being put down.”

Arizona Humane Society’s Nelson provided reassurance: “I feel very confident that one of our rescue organizations will be able to take Oso and work with him.”

Qualified rescue groups interested in helping Oso may contact AHS at

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