SANTA ANA, Calif. – An Orange County Fire Authority heavy fire equipment operator has been charged with felony animal cruelty for shooting his dog to death and disposing of the animal’s body in a dumpster in his fire station in Irvine.
Ryan John Monteleone, 44, of Menifee, was arrested by Irvine police on October 17, 2019 in the City of Irvine. Monteleone is a sworn member of the Orange County Fire Authority which provides fire service to the City of Irvine.
On August 9, 2019 a Waste Management trash truck driver discovered the body of the dead dog inside a dumpster at an OCFA fire station on Fossil Road in Irvine. A subsequent investigation revealed the dog had been shot in the head.
Monteleone has been charged with one felony count of cruelty to animals and one misdemeanor count of putting a carcass of a dead animal on the road. He faces a maximum of three years and six months if convicted of all charges.
Monteleone is scheduled to be arraigned on December 2, 2019 at the Harbor Justice Center in Department H1 at 8:30 a.m.
“Animals do not have the ability to call for help when they are being abused, making them especially vulnerable to violence,” said Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer. “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.”
Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Malone is prosecuting this case.