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A Silver Spring Township man is facing criminal charges after police say he caused his dog’s death by allowing it to stay outside in the heat without proper care.

Only July 2, Silver Spring Township Police responded to a home in the first block of Cottage Court after an anonymous caller told police a dog was seen lying outside in the heat for days and may be deceased, according to an affidavit of probable cause filed by Silver Spring Township Police.

Police walked through tall grass to find a 7-year-old pit bull lying on its back dead with its paws in the air, according to police.

The dog’s owner, Eliezer Caraballo-Ocasio, 37, of Silver Spring Township, told police he keeps the dog outside in a fenced-in area and that the dog had access to a shed for shelter, police said.

He told police that he feeds and gives the dog water once a day and that he had last been out to see the dog around 3 p.m. a day earlier, according to the police.

The water dish for the dog was completely dry when officers checked and food from the food dish was spread across the floor, police said. An air conditioner inside the shed was not running at the time police searched the area, according to the affidavit.

Caraballo-Ocasio had begun digging a grave for the dog, police said.

When asked what happened to the dog Carballo-Ocasio said, “I don’t think I gave him enough water in this heat,” according to the affidavit.

Temperatures in days surrounding the dog’s death exceeded 90 degrees, according to police.

Caraballo-Ocasio is charged with felony aggravated cruelty to animals, misdemeanor neglect of animals and misdemeanor cruelty to animals.

He is scheduled to appear in front of Magisterial District Judge Kathryn Silcox at 11:45 a.m. Aug. 15 for a preliminary hearing.

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