A Menifee man could spend nearly four years in prison for allegedly shooting his dog to death and then disposing of its remains in a dumpster near the Irvine fire station where he works, officials said Thursday.
Irvine police arrested 44-year-old Ryan John Monteleone on Oct. 17, a little more than two months after a Waste Management driver found the animal’s body in a dumpster at the Orange County Fire Authority station on Fossil Road, according to the O.C. District Attorney’s Office.
Investigators later determined that the dog was Monteleone’s, and that it had been shot in the head.
Monteleone has been charged with a felony count of animal cruelty and a misdemeanor count of putting a carcass of an animal on the road, the DA’s Office said Thursday.
Monteleone is a heavy fire equipment operator for OCFA, which serves the city of Irvine. He bailed out the day after he was arrested, the DA’s Office told KTLA.
A subsequent review concluded that he “poses no threat to his colleagues or the public” and remains on duty, said a statement from OCFA. The agency emphasized that he is not and has never been a firefighter.
Monteleone is set to be arraigned on Dec. 2. He could face a maximum of three years and six months in prison, prosecutors said.
“The abuse of animals will never be acceptable; this kind of conduct is even more egregious when the abuse is carried out by a public servant whose entire career is devoted to helping others,” District Attorney Todd Spitzer said in a statement.