Menifee man suspected of shooting, killing dog

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MENIFEE (CNS) – An Orange County Fire Authority employee is facing criminal charges for allegedly shooting his 4-year-old pit bull and dumping the canine’s carcass in a trash bin at his workplace in Irvine.

Ryan John Monteleone, 44, of Menifee, is charged with a felony count of cruelty to animals and a misdemeanor count of dumping an animal carcass.

Monteleone has worked as a heavy fire equipment operator for the fire authority for four years and is not a firefighter, according to Colleen Windsor, a spokeswoman for the OCFA.

Monteleone “remains on duty while facing criminal charges against him,” she said. “After review, we have concluded that Monteleone can continue to do his duties during this time, and poses no threat to his colleagues or the public.”

Monteleone was arrested by Irvine police on Oct. 17, according to Kimberly Edds of the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.

A Waste Management trash truck driver found the dog’s body inside the trash bin at a fire station on Fossil Road in Irvine on Aug. 9, Edds said. The dog had been shot in the head, she said.

Monteleone is scheduled to be arraigned Dec. 2 at the Harbor Justice Center in Newport Beach. He could face up to three and a half years in custody if convicted at trial.