Fort Worth, Texas -- A 30-year-old Fort Worth man was sentenced to one year in jail after he left his dog in a vacated apartment where she died with no food or water.

Justin Ryan Rubio pled guilty to animal cruelty in April. He was arrested in March 2016 after his dog, Tara, was found dead inside a unit where he once lived at the Monticello Crossroads Apartments.

“There are no words that can accurately describe Tara’s suffering in that apartment,”
said prosecutor Kacey Fickes in a statement released Monday. “This defendant was supposed to be the person who loved and protected her, and instead he left her to die ... The true tragedy is that one phone call at any point could have spared Tara from a slow and agonizing death.”

Tarrant County authorities say Rubio vacated the apartment weeks before the pit-bull mix was found dead inside. He also allegedly admitted to attending a party in Oklahoma during the time the animal was trapped inside.