NAPA, Calif. -- A Santa Clara firefighter arrested for allegedly killing his dog in Napa last week has been placed on paid leave, the city's fire chief said Monday.
Nicholas Luiz, 31, has worked with the Santa Clara Fire Department for seven years and was taken off duty Wednesday pending an internal investigation, Fire Chief Bill Kelly said.
Around 11:45 p.m. last Tuesday, Napa police officers responded to a report of animal cruelty in the 1100 block of Massa Drive.
On that day, someone reported Luiz was abusing his 5-month-old German shepherd in a backyard and suspected the dog was dead, police said.
Witnesses said Luiz had allegedly been abusing his dog for months, according to police.
When officers initially went to the home Tuesday night, no one answered their knocks at the door, police said.
Officers came back at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, when they served a search warrant and found the dog dead at the home.
Luiz confessed to killing the dog and was arrested and booked into Napa County Jail, police said.
Kelly said the alleged actions carried out by Luiz are "very troubling, very disturbing."
"It's a type of behavior that's just not acceptable from an employee in our department," Kelly said.
"This a very serious issue and our department is doing everything we can to solve this," the chief said.
Anyone with information on the case is asked to call Napa police investigator Andy Hess at (707) 257-9507.