It was the crime that shocked the county last week. A San Clemente man allegedly choked and killed a dog as its terrified owner looked on.
Now there is a bright spot among all the horror. A pet store owner is giving the Donnelley family another miniature Schnauzer.
Julie Pells, the owner of the Sand Bar Pet Shop had a mini Schnauzer for sale and decided to give it to the Donnelley family.
The new dog has been named Kootney, after a mountain range north of Montana. The 4-month-old pup is what breeders call a dog with a brain.
The new puppy is already bonding with the Donnelley's 13-month-old son, but the family knows they will never forget the dog they lost, the dog they are calling a hero for saving Julie Donnelley's life. Julie Donnelley lost her beloved five year old Kokonhee last week when they were allegedly attacked by an incoherent man police have identified as Bayron Reyes Lopez.
Lopez began screaming at Donnelley, police said. That's when Kokohnee lunged forward. Donnelley said Lopez went for the dog instead, choking her then slamming her to the ground where she died, according to police.
Lopez was scheduled to be arraigned Monday, but Orange County Sheriff's Deputies said he was found hitting his head on a wall inside the jail. Lopez is now in a medical ward, where he is being watched by mental health officials.
Lopez is being held on $20,000 bail, and authorities are waiting for tests to come back to find out if Lopez was under the influence of drugs that day.