Filipino-American Krisanto Paragas led the honorees for the 2018 edition of the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Courageous Citizens Awards, after saving a dog thrown into a ravine by its owner.
US Coast Guard worker Paragas was honored for his heroism in rescuing the mixed breed pit bull which was thrown down a 20-foot ravine.
The Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control (DACC) endorsed Paragas for the Courageous Citizen award after the dog’s former owner was successfully prosecuted for animal cruelty.
Paragas also found a Filipino-American family to adopt the dog since he was already caring for two dogs.
Paragas recounted the incident in a report by Beyond Headlines. He said it was around 3 AM when his father-in-law who had just flown in from the Philippines awoke him after seeing the incident.
The rescued dog was actually a frequent visitor of his yard. “Sabi ni Tatay, dumating daw yung may-ari ng aso na pumupunta sa bahay namin. Sabi ko, mabuti naman. Pero sabi ni Tatay, hindi. Tinapon niya sa bangin ‘yung aso. (Tatay said Hera and her owner were around. I said it was good. But then, my father-in-law said, no, he threw her into the ravine.)
Paragas rushed out of their house and climbed down the ravine and found the dog near the bottom of it. The dog was shaking in fear and was probably in great pain.
“I tried to call her to come to me. But she was so shaken and scared, she wouldn’t move from where she was,” Paragas recalled.
Shortly after, Paragas noticed a car’s headlight from atop the ravine. He climbed up and saw the man who threw the dog into the ravine. He was later identified as Adrian Spancky Raya.
Raya allegedly asked Paragas to turn over the dog to him.
“I was so enraged I think I used some colorful words on him,” Paragas narrate
“I told him that he is not going to get back the dog and that the police has been called.”
Sensing that Paragas was determined, Raya left the scene.
Paragas later reviewed his home surveillance video and gave it to authorities.
Animal Control Officer Armando Ferrufino of the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control (DACC) investigated the case and turned it over to the District Attorney’s office for prosecution.
Raya was convicted of cruelty to an animal and sentenced to two years in a state prison.
When told he was to receive the Courageous Citizens Award for the deed Paragas said, “I didn’t really expect it. All along I thought that what I did was just the right thing to do. And I will do it over again, if I get another chance.”
The award received by Paragas has been given out by the LA District Attorney’s office since 1986 to “individuals who have acted with courage and at considerable personal risk to help a victim of crime, assist in the capture of a suspect or testify in the face of extraordinary pressures.”