SAN CLEMENTE (CBS) — A San Clemente man claims his neighbor purposely poisoned two dogs, killing one of them. The neighbor insists it was all a horrible accident.

That case has been handed over from Animal Control to the District Attorney’s office.

Marc Schroeder told CBS2 and KCAL9 reporter Stacey Butler that four weeks ago, his seven pound Chihuahua mix named Diablito died after eating wet dog food that was laced with rat poison…left out in a dish in his neighbor’s back yard. “He really suffered,” says Schroeder.’

Diablito, Spanish for “little Devil” was also known as Beto. The dog is now buried in Schroeder’s backyard. “When I look out the window for the next thirty years and see him in his yard, I want to know he was punished and he didn’t get away with it.”

Last night, with daughter Catalina by his side, Schroeder took his case to the San Clemente City Council.

Schroeder complained loudly and often. He was originally told by Animal Control that the neighbor was likely facing an infraction. Butler now reports the case going to prosecutors means the neighbor will likely face misdemeanor charges, at least.

The neighbor, Ray Haines, says he was trying to kill a possum and not his neighbor’s dog. “I feel terrible about this.”

Haines insists he had no idea his neighbor’s dog frequented his yard. “I have a garden in the backyard and the possums were just tearing it up.”

Wednesday night, a San Clemente Animal Control Supervisor told Butler that no matter what Haines’ intent — it is a crime to poison even wild animals.


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