Homestead man who butchered dogs during illegal surgeries heads to prison

Lazaro Ruiz pleaded guilty Monday to butchering dogs during illegal veterinarian work.
Lazaro Ruiz pleaded guilty Monday to butchering dogs during illegal veterinarian work. David Ovalle

A Homestead man who butchered dogs while performing illegal veterinarian work — then posted videos of the procedures online — is headed to prison for one year.

Lazaro Ruiz, 26, pleaded guilty Monday to animal cruelty and other charges that could have landed him in prison for up to 20 years.

Prosecutors said Ruiz was an illegal breeder who masqueraded as a vet, performing an illegal C-section on a pregnant pit bull and injecting another with an “unknown substance” aimed at helping her give birth. Boasting of his “ghetto-style home remedy,” he also used garden shears to clip the ears of at least three puppies, leaving them deformed and with their inner-ear canals exposed.

“Barbaric,” Miami-Dade prosecutor Suzanne Von Paulus said of Ruiz’s crimes.

Miami-Dade police arrested Ruiz in November after he illegally tried to sell a pit bull puppy to an undercover detective.

Ruiz first came to the attention of authorities last year after county animal services investigators found three dogs on his property baking inside a plastic crate with no shade. For the dogs, the temperature outside that day clocked in at over 110 degrees.

Ruiz’s YouTube videos were disturbing, including footage showing young doberman pups fighting over a piece of raw meat in a bathtub.

“Frankly sir, these are some pretty gruesome pictures,” Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Ellen Sue Venzer said after examining photos of his animal victims. “I’m not at all sorry that you will be not be having any future pets.”

After he is done with his sentence, Ruiz cannot have access to any animals while serving five years of probation.

“Not even a snake,” Venzer said.

“I understand. Not even a fish,” Ruiz said. “Not even a chicken.”

Ruiz, who was also accused of battering a police officer during his arrest, flipped off a Miami Herald reporter taking photos of him being taken into custody in court.

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