Man sentenced to two years in prison for animal cruelty

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- An update now to an animal cruelty story Action News first reported late last year, after a six-month-old puppy was kicked, beaten and then suffocated.

An evaluation recommended Mark Estrada receive only probation, but he was sentenced to two years in prison for the violence Monday.

Estrada didn't say a word when the judge reminded him why he was getting some hard time, instead of just probation.

"This court believes that all creatures large and small deserve better than this poor puppy received," said Honorable Jon Kapetan.

Investigators say last November, Estrada kicked and beat a puppy until it was lifeless. Witnesses said it was screaming and crying in pain.

A necropsy told the story of the young puppies life. In addition to four healing rib fractures, the dog had countless new and old injuries.

"The puppy's skull, thorax, abdomen, and legs were all hemorrhaging," said Kapetan. "No living creature deserves such horrific treatment."

As part of the sentence, Estrada is also not allowed to own, live with or care for any animals for ten years.

Outside court, Miriam Estrada said she isn't proud of her brother's behavior but says the backlash from the community is unwarranted.

"I just believe that people shouldn't judge without knowing the background of anybody," said his sister.

She says his own horrific experiences have scarred him.

"He was in a really horrible accident six years ago where we lost our brother, and he passed away in his arms. He got his head split open twice and ever since then he hasn't been okay," said Miriam.

Family members say Estrada turned to drugs, which also altered his mental state. Although he didn't speak in court, they told Action News that Estrada is remorseful and accepting of the sentence.
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