El Mirage man arrested on animal cruelty charge

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Russell Files By Jennifer Thomas Russell Files By Jennifer Thomas

EL MIRAGE, Ariz. -- An El Mirage man was arrested Tuesday on one felony count of animal cruelty.

On Dec. 18, officers were called to the home of Russell Files, 44, after receiving a call about an alleged animal cruelty situation.

When officers arrived at the home in the area of Thunderbird and Dysart roads, they found a 2-year-old Australian Cattle Dog caught in leg traps in the front yard of the property. The dog was noticeably injured and in need of medical attention.

When detectives spoke to Files, he told them he had set the traps intentionally to catch the neighbor’s dog, who had been repeatedly wandering onto his property after escaping out of her own yard.

Surprise Animal Control, as well as Maricopa County Animal Control, arrived to assist with removing the injured dog from the traps. The owner of the dog was notified and he responded to the scene.

Animal Control officers transported the dog to a local animal hospital where she was treated for her injuries. According to the veterinarian, the dog lost a large number of teeth trying to chew her way out of the traps and sustained severe injury to her mouth.

After an extensive investigation, El Mirage detectives arrested Files. He was booked into the Maricopa County Jail.

The owner of the dog was cited on a charge of having a dog at large.