Man accused of feeding bird to pit bull charged with animal cruelty

WICHITA — Prosecutors have charged a Wichita man with felony cruelty to animals after Wichita police said he broke the wing of a pet parakeet and fed it to a pit bull.

Four people _ some of them children _ saw the injured bird being fed to the dog, police said.

The defendant, Jorge Fortiz-Rodriguez, 30, made an initial appearance in Sedgwick County District Court this afternoon. Fortiz-Rodriguez remained in jail; his bond for the charge has been set at $10,000. He faces a preliminary hearing on May 26.

District Judge Warren Wilbert, noting that Fortiz-Rodriguez is unemployed, appointed him a public defender.

At the time of the incident involving the bird, Fortiz-Rodriguez already was facing trial on a felony DUI charge, court records show.

Police have said that the green parakeet belonged to the children of a woman with whom Fortiz-Rodriguez was living.

The incident was reported at about 10 p.m. Tuesday in the 3100 block of South Davidson, near 31st Street South and the Kansas Turnpike.

Police Lt. Doug Nolte gave this account: A 30-year-old man reportedly came home drunk and got into an argument with a 32-year-old woman, prompting her to call 911. The call apparently provoked the man, who took the parakeet, broke its wing and fed it to a pit bull, Nolte said.

The four children in the home are ages 10 to 14, and some of them saw the incident, Nolte said.