Busted! Dog abuse suspect charged after being spotted at North Side veterinary clinic

Update October 11: According to social media posts by Garrido Stray Rescue Foundation, the dog, Zeus, had cancer and was euthanized before police arrested Cartagena over the weekend. Safe Humane Chicago is paying for a necropsy to determine how much, if any, of Zeus’ health condition was related to abuse, the foundation said.

A man from Hammond, Indiana, has been arrested and charged with animal abuse for allegedly throwing and punching a dog in an attack that was caught on video, according to Chicago police.

Jose Orlando Cartagena, 28, was charged with one count of misdemeanor cruelty to animals on Sunday, according to a CPD spokesperson. Chicago police arrested Cartagena after someone spotted him and his van at an animal care facility in Avondale yesterday.

Late last week, Lincoln Park resident Paula Conrad released videos of a man who tossed and punched a dog after parking a minivan in the 1900 block of North Maud on September 22. Conrad hoped someone might recognize the man and help the police catch him.

Her efforts paid off.

Over the weekend, a driver spotted the same van in traffic and posted a clear photo of its plate to social media.

Then, around 11:30 a.m. Sunday, a woman who was at a veterinary appointment at MedVet, 3305 North California, saw Cartagena in the lobby, according to Conrad and CPD records. Chicago police responded to the scene and arrested Cartagena. A source familiar with the investigation said the dog was at the vet’s office with significant injuries.

“It’s about this dog for me, but also about the 95% of us who are good people standing up to the 5% dirtbags,” Conrad said Sunday evening.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is news@cwbchicago.com