Kyle officer resigns after animal cruelty conviction

A Kyle Police officer has surrendered his badge after he was found guilty last week of beating his girlfriend’s poodle and causing significant injuries.

David Salinas, 34, of Austin, was found guilty by a Travis County jury Aug. 9 of a third-degree felony charge of animal cruelty. He will serve a two-year probation and undergo a mental health evaluation for anger management. Frisco, the poodle in the center of the case, will be released from the ownership of Salinas and his fiancé to a new foster family.

“Earlier today, the Kyle Police Department received the resignation of David Salinas,” said Kyle Chief of Police Jeff Barnett Aug. 10. “Salinas was removed from police duties while this matter was pending in court.”

Barnett said Salinas was enrolled in Kyle Police’s training academy at the time of the incident. The department did not receive Salinas’ resignation until Aug. 10, a day after his conviction.

Salinas’ legal team argued that no evidence indicated Salinas took part in Frisco’s injury, consistent with what he told police at the time of the incident.

Salinas’ felony conviction means his peace officer’s license is automatically revoked, a requirement for a career in law enforcement.

Frisco was rescued from the Austin Humane Society by Salinas in October 2016. According to a report by the Austin-American Statesman, Salinas became more responsible for the dog after his fiancé became pregnant.

On April 22, Salinas walked Frisco while taking trash to the dumpster. During this period, the dog stopped and could no longer walk.

When Salinas’ fiance arrived home, the couple took Frisco to the veterinarian, who informed the couple that the poodle’s injuries were so severe, it might have to be euthanized.

Upon shaving Frisco’s coat, the veterinary staff found bruises mainly located on the left side of the body.

According to the Statesman’s report, multiple experts testified the injuries were the result of blunt force trauma from an unknown object.

Jessica Wolfe, a prosecutor on the case, suggested Salinas had kicked the dog but noted the state is not required by law to prove what weapon that caused the injuries, the Statesman wrote.

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