By CBSLA Staff

NEWPORT BEACH (CBSLA) — An Orange County Fire Authority employee pleaded guilty on Wednesday in an animal death case.

46-year-old Ryan John Monteleone of Menifee accepted a plea deal, which dismissed his felony count of cruelty to animals.

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Monteleone was accused of shooting his 4-year-old pit bull in the head and dumping the dog’s body in a trash bin at his workplace in Irvine, officials said.

The incident happened around August 2019, when the dog’s carcass was found by a Waste Management trash truck driver.

Monteleone, who worked as a heavy fire equipment operator for the fire authority for four years and was not a firefighter, was placed on three years of informal probation and must complete 250 hours of community service by April 1, 2022, court records state.

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Monteleone’s wife told investigators that the family adopted the pit bull about a year before the dog was killed and that the animal had attacked a donkey and an Amazon driver and killed a pet cat, according to the court filing.

The family also discussed that they couldn’t afford a “sizable veterinarian bill” for putting down the animal, attorneys said in court papers.

If he was convicted at trial, Monteleone could have faced up to 3 1/2 years in custody.

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