FRESNO-Around two and a half years ago, Fidel Manzano Jr., a local MMA fighter, was arrested by Kingsburg Police Department for animal cruelty charges. Manzano came home early in the morning on December 6, 2015, and severely beat his dog, Chokaly (also known as Chocolate) for nearly two hours. Chocolate suffered a broken jaw and other injuries as a result from the trauma.
Manzano’s case was brought to trial on June 6, 2017, and was concluded with a hung jury (9 guilty to 3 innocent). The case was tried again on March 21, 2018, and a second hung jury (11 guilty to 1 innocent) was concluded. Manzano entered a plea deal on April 27, 2018, for one misdemeanor count of animal cruelty, resulting in two years of probation, a five year ban on owning animals, and an order to pay restitution to the Central California SPCA (CCSPCA) in Fresno for costs incurred of $11,552.55.
Chocolate was relinquished to CCSPCA by Manzano’s family in December 2015 and has been in the shelter's care since. Now that the trial has ended, CCSPCA is seeking a positive outcome for Chocolate because he has suffered greatly. According to CCSPCA, the trauma inflicted by Manzano and kennel stress has caused Chocolate to develop aggressive tendencies; therfore, he will require tender, loving, care from an experienced animal behaviorist or rescue organization to rehabilitate his behavioral concerns. People interested in helping Chocolate should contact CCSPCA's Rescue Department at email@example.com or call (559) 777-1131.
Because of the widely-recognized link between animal cruelty and domestic violence/abuse, CCSPCA expressed appreciation to the District Attorney's office for recognizing the importance of prosecuting animal cruelty cases and the Kingsburg Police Department for including the organization in it's investigation.
CCSPCA Humane Officers hold the same powers of peace officers in the state of California when investigating animal cruelty. The CCSPCA is a non-profit corporation that relies on donations for its programs and services, including animal cruelty investigations. To report animal cruelty and neglect call (559) 233-7722 or visit Central California SPCA.