DALLAS — A Dallas man is headed to prison for more than six years after cameras captured him killing and dumping two dogs: a conviction and lengthy prison term that police, prosecutors, and animal activists hope sends a clear and convincing message.
In early April of this year, cameras installed on Dowdy Ferry Road south of Interstate 20 captured a man stopping by the side of the road in a gray pickup truck. He removed two white puppies from the bed of the truck and tossed them over a barricade to a construction site.
He is then seen picking up a tree branch or log. Off camera you can hear the sound of the dogs crying out, as a loud impact is heard.
After the man drove away, the dogs were found side by side. They had been bludgeoned to death.
"This is a camera," said Jeremy Boss, of the Dowdy Ferry Animal Commission, as he pointed to one of two cameras at the location.
"And this is the one that got him," said Boss.
The man arrested just hours later was Sebastian Acosta.
Facing charges of animal cruelty and illegal dumping, the 20-year-old pleaded guilty and was sentenced to six and a half years in prison on Monday, Dec. 6.
"This is a pinnacle moment for the City of Dallas and I pray that they continue this," Boss said, praising Dallas police investigators and Dallas County prosecutors who saw the case through.
"It was ugly," said Lt. Stephen Hoyer, of the Dallas Police Department SE Patrol Division.
"But justice was served. If you do ugly things, you reap what you sow," said Hoyer, of the message he hopes the sentence will send.
"I think we need to change the narrative. It shouldn't even be a celebration. It should be that's a normal," Dallas Animal Advisory Commission's Stephanie Hanson said of the sentence. "The celebration is when the public starts standing up and saying, 'we're not accept this anymore.'"
There are still more than 900 documented cases of animal dumping along Dowdy Ferry and other areas of Dallas.
On a drive along Dowdy Ferry Monday, there was still plenty of evidence, including a dog bed of the animals still being left behind.
But in a moment of victory, Boss said this about the two puppies he decided to name Angel and Sky.
"Even six and a half years, it doesn't seem like long enough. But I tell people all the time we gotta [sic] hit the moon before we shoot for the stars. You will pay for animal cruelty in the City of Dallas, eventually. You may not get caught the first time but we will catch you," said Boss.
Because the cameras, with even more to be installed, are still watching.
Click here for more information on the Dowdy Ferry Animal Commission and how your donations can fund more surveillance.