California man sentenced for tossing special-needs boy's assistance dog off balcony

A Long Beach man who threw a boy's dog off a balcony is going to prison.

Twenty-four-year-old Jose Herrera was sentenced Wednesday to three years and eight months in state prison after pleading no contest to felony animal cruelty.

He also was barred from owning, living with or caring for any animal for 10 years.

Herrera was living with his ex-girlfriend, her mother and her 10-year-old brother, who has special needs.

Prosecutors say on May 7, he tossed the boy's assistance dog, a 1-year-old Chihuahua named Pearl, off of a balcony.

Authorities say Pearl suffered a serious eye injury and needed medical care that the family couldn't provide. She's currently in the care of Long Beach animal welfare workers and is said to be recovering from her injuries.