Between the Santería sacrifices, the illegal slaughterhouses, and the general dumbfuck cruelty exhibited by our local human populace, it might be fair to declare South Florida the worst place in the nation to be an animal. And 2011 had some especially bizarre and horrible cases of mistreatment of local furry creatures. It's kind of funny to think that a couple of years ago, an evicted rooster was a cause celebre. Guess that was before it was conceivable that somebody would perform foreplay on a tiny Mexican dog.
Without further ado, the strangest and most outrageous examples of local animal abuse in the past year:
5. The Incredibly Cruel Hialeah Butchers: We've known for years that a cottage industry of illegal slaughterhouses was thriving in Miami. There was something almost romantic about it, as if the independent farmers were bypassing the factory farms and raising their animals the old-fashioned way. Gruesome undercover video shot by an animal activist exploded that romanticism. There was nothing quaint about the brutal and inefficient way these Hialeah butchers hammer-bludgeoned and stabbed a terrified hog or slowly sawed the head off a living cow. Here's hoping Rudy Acosta, Javier Estevanez, and Luis Cardoza are reincarnated as Miami farm animals.
4. The Porn Star's Farm-in-a-Van: Raul Armenteros is better known to masturbation aficionados as "Ramon," his porn name. We've been told the man has a sizable organ that he uses well. But he penetrated the mainstream news cycle when cops busted him with 21 live animals -- eight roosters, four guinea hens, four pigeons, four goats, and one lonely duck -- locked in his hot van, some of them wrapped in garbage bags. When we visited the porn star on house arrest, he admitted all of those animals had been doomed for a "sacrifice."
3. Hundreds of Dogs Abandoned in Everglades: There's nothing as cretinous and callous as keeping an animal as a family pet and then suddenly tossing it to gators, is there? Rescuers have been overwhelmed by the number of dogs abandoned in the Everglades and around South Miami-Dade. The phenomenon is believed to be partly due to the foreclosure epidemic. Not a good excuse. The animals are left to starve, contract disease, die of exposure or under the wheels of cars, or be eaten by Everglades predators.
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2. The Case of Chocolate the Panhandling Dog Chocolate was something of a celebrity in South Beach, where its owner -- a homeless man named Noe Boo -- used the dog as a panhandling gimmick. Chocolate was confiscated when a cop claimed he watched Boo kick, punch, and drag the dog behind his bicycle. So Chocolate ended up on "death row," awaiting euthanasia. According to a Facebook page devoted to the dog's plight, he was adopted at the last minute -- to his alleged abuser's family.
1. The Man Who Finger-Banged His Roommate's Chihuahua: A woman heard her Chihuahua Mimi yelp and found her roommate, local luminary Tomás Bautista, with his pants around his ankles, drunk in their front yard. The dog was holding its tail between its legs. Bautista fessed up to the finger-banging almost immediately, was sentenced to a year in prison, and will likely be deported. This was not the perfect crime.