Peruvian congressman lambasted for allegedly gunning down neighbor’s Schnauzer puppy

Peruvian legislators are frequently hit with a wide array of scandals: Everything from run of the mill nepotism for hiring a relative or friend for a no-show job, to more lecherous shenanigans, like getting caught on videotape begging a teenage office assistant not to press charges for sexual abuse.

But never has a member of Peru’s Congress been denounced for gunning down a puppy. Until now.

Peru’s Congressman Miro Ruiz allegedly blew away his neighbor’s 18-month-old Schnauzer, Matias, after the dog sneaked into his backyard in the Chaclacayo suburb east of Lima and ate one of his ducks.

His neighbor, Wendoly Cárdenas filed a criminal complaint at the local police precinct on Thursday, prompting a barrage of glaring front page headlines in the next morning’s tabloid newspapers, labeling Ruiz a “Dog Killer!”

Peru’s leading broadsheet, daily El Comercio, took an appropriately more subdued approach to the story on its inside pages:

“My neighbors, who live nearby the congressman’s home, can testify that they saw him fire three shots and that one of these shots killed the dog,” the newspaper quoted Cárdenas saying.

“I understand that the congressman breeds ducks and that maybe the dog got into his house,” she added, “but that is no reason for him to pick up a gun and shoot him.”

Ruiz, whose adviser allegedly tried to cut a deal with the pup’s owners in order to quiet the affair, has yet to make any public declarations.

Absent from Thursday’s plenary session, Ruiz could find himself in hot water with legislative colleagues. Congresswoman Elizabeth León, who chairs the Congress’ ethics commission, told state news agency Andina that her office was evaluating whether an official probe was warranted.

Radioprogramas radio posted a tribute video on YouTube, titled “Remembering Matias,” featuring a photo montage of the dog, set to music and a tearful voice over by Cárdenas testifying about her pet’s demise:

“At 8:00 this morning, we heard some shots being fired. And then the dog’s howl. I didn’t think that my dog was dead. The dog escaped from the house. As you can see, I keep him fenced in. I don’t know how he escaped, but all the dogs in the neighborhood wander around freely. When my husband stepped out to see what happened, the dog was already dead. He said my dog ate his duck! But my dog would never have eaten his duck! Why? Because I have food here! This dog was treated like a baby. He slept with my son. He was like a baby for us. I have enough food to give him. The congressman can’t argue with that. I shouldn’t even be calling him congressman… We cared for this dog, he was part of our family.”

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