Warrant issued for Austin man accused of animal cruelty

The Austin Police Department has issued a warrant for Joshua Paul Fortier. Fortier is suspected of committing the offense of cruelty to non-livestock animals. Fortier is accused of feeding his dog a bottle of rubbing alcohol after ingesting LSD, synthetic marijuana, and ecstasy. 

According to the arrest warrant, Fortier and his girlfriend of one year, Kayla Reed, were living together in an apartment in the 2200 block of W. William Cannon Drive. Fortier and Reed had adopted a dog together in November of 2015 from the rescue group, Austin Pets Alive. The dog, identified as a brown and black neutered male American Blue Keeler mix, was only about three months old at the time.

Fortier and Reed named the puppy Kano. 

On May 5, 2016, Reed came home from school and found Fortier standing at the open front door of their apartment. Fortier was crying and telling Reed that she would not like what he had done.

According to official documents, Reed then entered the home and found Kano floating dead in a bathtub full of water. She also found an open and empty bottle of rubbing alcohol on the floor near the dog's water bowl. Reed then went to confront Fortier but discovered he had left the apartment  on foot without his phone or car keys. 

Several hours later, Fortier flagged down an Austin police officer at a gas station on Manchaca Road, approximately 1.5 miles away from his apartment. Fortier told officers that he needed help, that he needed a job, and that he had killed his dog. He told officers that he had killed his dog bu feeding it a bottle of rubbing alcohol and that he had smoked marijuana from a person he barely knew.

The officers believed that Fortier may have smoked synthetic marijuana and was having hallucinations due to the substance. They also believed that Fortier was a danger to himself and/or others and placed him under a Peace Officer Emergency Detention for mental health evaluation. 

According to official documents, Fortier was found to be on drugs at the time of this incident. It was found that Fortier had been ingesting LSD, synthetic marijuana, and ecstasy. Fortier admitted to doctors that he had killed his dog Kano and at one time stated that he killed the dog because it was a demon. Fortier spent ten days in a mental hospital was released once he was no longer considered a danger to himself or others. 

Police officers went and spoke with Fortier's neighbors who stated they had seen Kano the previous day and that he was perfectly healthy. Another neighbor stated that prior to Reed coming home, he heard a loud thump from inside the apartment and then keard Kano crying/whimpering. This neighbor also stated that after he heard Kano crying, Fortier had walked into the neighbor's apartment unannounced and completely naked.

The neighbor stated that Fortier appeared to be disoriented as if on drugs. 

The neighbor told Fortier that he was in the wrong apartment. He then gave Fortier a shirt and shorts and told him to leave. Fortier left and a shot time later Reed returned home from school. 

Austin Pets Alive has released the following statement regarding the incident:

Austin Pets Alive! has recently learned about the tragic killing of Kano. We are heartsick that this has happened to one of our graduates. Thankfully the court system is pursuing justice for Kano and we hope it will exhaust every option to hold this person accountable for a horrific crime. Pets are at the mercy of the decisions of their humans and it is vital, for the sake of pets and people alike that people are not allowed to get away with endangering them.

APD has issued a warrant for Joshua Paul Fortier's arrest. He is accused of committing cruelty to non-livestock animals when he knowingly, or recklessly tortured an animal. Anyone with information about Fortier is asked to contact the Austin Police Department.