Young Animal Activist Dies Defending Dog from Animal Abuser

Miguel Ángel Palacios was just 19 years old when he lost his life at the hands of a drunk and armed man that wanted to hurt an innocent miniature Pinscher dog named Jerry.

The homicide happened in Envigado, Colombia on May 4, 2014, at 6:00 a.m.  Palacios and his brother Juan Pablo learned of a neighbor, 33-year-old Jesús Antonio Castaño, who had been drinking all night long and that morning threatened to sever the dog’s head with a machete. Jerry does not belong to Castaño, but at the time of the incident, the drunk criminal had been caring for the dog.

Palacios, a Colombian native born in Miami, avid animal lover, and volunteer at the local animal shelter (Corporación Canes Perdidos/Lost Dogs Rescue) had been visiting Envigado during a school break. When he learned of the animal cruelty that was about to take place, he rushed over to the neighbor’s home and tried to prevent the crime.

Miguel Angel Palacios died defending a small dog (not the one pictures) from an inebriated animal abuser.

Miguel Angel Palacios died defending a small dog (not the one pictures) from an inebriated animal abuser.

The inebriated man, Palacios and Juan Pablo had a heated discussion that escalated to a physical fight where Castaño used the machete and a pocket knife to inflict various lacerations on the animal lovers. The cops were called to the residence and all three men were rushed to a nearby hospital to be treated for injuries.

Both young animal defenders and the drunk animal abuser had a series of lacerations, however the injuries Palacios suffered were too extensive, and he lost his life the following morning.

“We are devastated with the news,” said Diana Carolina Ortiz, director of Lost Dogs Rescue. “Miguel Ángel loved life and all animals and he always wanted to rescue all abandoned dogs that crossed his path.”

Palacios’s mother, Lina María Montoya, was shocked to learn about her son’s death, but since the tragic event took place, Montoya has been comforted by Colombians and international animal lovers who have reached out to her.

World-wide animal lovers want to make sure Palacios’s death does not become another senseless death.

Authorities arrested Castaño as soon as the man was released from the hospital and he now faces criminal charges he must answer and pay for.

As for Jerry, his life was spared and his rightful owner, Albeiro Cortez, decided to honor the young animal activist by giving Jerry to Montoya. After all, Palacios died defending an innocent animal that wasn’t even his own pet.

“I love Jerry,” said Cortez, “he is a loving pet who earned our love, but I understand how difficult this must be [for Palacios’s family] and I know that Jerry will help them remember Miguel Angel and help them heal.”

Miguel Angel is being honored by 25 animal rescue groups who have come together to help Montoya establish a new rescue group called “Miguel Angel’s Ark.” This organization will fight to defend and save homeless and abused animals. Something Palacios believed in and worked towards accomplishing every day.


  1. Feline Cool says on  05/26/2014 at 10:42 pm

    So sorry for the pointless & heartbreaking loss of this wonderful young man! Animal abusers are losers & they harm humans, too. I hope he gets punished to the fullest extent of the law.
    Palacios family, please find comfort & strength ~ take care <3

    • Anonymous says on  05/28/2014 at 9:32 am

      Many hugs to this young mans family’s loss. Miguel was and always will be a hero, rest in peace sweet boy and know your death will not be in vain. As for the Murderer I hope you rot in jail! This is why Animal Abusers should receive the same punishment as Child Abusers.National Registries need to be made to cross reference All Abusers. It may not have saved this young man, but it could save future people and animals. Anyone who would murder an animal would in my opinion murder a person.

    • Anonymous says on  08/04/2014 at 1:46 pm

      So sorry for your lost

    • Anonymous says on  08/04/2014 at 1:51 pm

      So sorry for your lost RIP
      RIP it will DE ok

  2. Anonymous says on  05/26/2014 at 10:45 pm

    Miguel reminds me of myself. I love all animals, i don’t care if the animal isn’t mine, if it’s in danger i will be there to help it. He saved Jerry but in return his life was taken. Sad tragedy to lose someone that cares deeply about animals to that level. RIP

  3. Anonymous says on  05/26/2014 at 11:08 pm

    I had been in Colombia and like in others countries does not exist laws to protect animals. I hope this young man murder products laws to protect animals in Colombia and Latin America. God bless his soul and comforts his mon and family.

  4. Michele Pippen says on  05/27/2014 at 12:43 am

    FULL RESPECT to that young man and send all the prayers and strength to the parents of such a brave, courageous young man. The parents must be also very special people. They need to hear that so many thousands had an exceptional son, who will never be forgotten for his love and bravery. He’s in the angels’ arms, safe and loved.

  5. Anonymous says on  05/27/2014 at 4:43 pm

    Wow…just wow. This is a true hero and I hope that drunk bastard gets what he deserves.

  6. Anonymous says on  05/27/2014 at 8:06 pm

    So much love and respect for this brave young man, so he was an angel on earth, he shall now be an angel in heaven where he can watch over all the animals that he loves

  7. Eve says on  05/27/2014 at 8:36 pm

    You’re a hero. I would kick the living f**k out of someone who was going to do that. RIP brave friend xx

  8. Anonymous says on  05/27/2014 at 9:27 pm

    I’m so sorry for your loss. It is great to see young people have the kind of love Miguel did for animals. I think it is a great idea to have a rescue group in his name. What a hero Miguel was for trying to stop that dog from being injured or killed.

  9. Sandra Sharp says on  05/27/2014 at 11:31 pm

    “Greater love has no man than to lay down his life for another” This young Miguel was wise and brave beyond his years. The absurdity that the murderer would use a MACHETE and knife on this UNARMED young man is beyond comprehension! ” Unfortunately, EVIL is rampant in our world today.We fight not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers of this dark world, and against the spiritual forces of evil.
    All that Miguel had to offer, in his sacrificial love for animals and humans alike, all the potential to.make a difference snuffed out by this crazy drunk!

  10. Anonymous says on  05/28/2014 at 12:12 am

    So sorry for the tragic loss of an animal rescuer. He is a true hero and must have been an incredible young man. I hope his family finds comfort in continuing the work he loved, helping animals in need. May every animal Miguel Angels Ark saves fill a small void in the hearts of those who loved Miguel. We’ll be looking for donation info to help his name live on. Prayers for Miguel’s friends and family.

  11. Gail Militao says on  05/28/2014 at 7:04 am

    So sad, wonderful young man. A true hero to the end. R.I.P angel!

  12. Anonymous says on  05/28/2014 at 12:18 pm

    He is the perfect example of a real human with a heart for animals who gave his life for another to live. RIP little angel… Now you can help god with all his animals :-)

  13. Anonymous says on  05/28/2014 at 4:02 pm

    R.I.P. young man. The Rainbow Bridge has received a new Angel.

  14. Anonymous says on  05/28/2014 at 11:23 pm

    What a horrible thing to happen. That poor boy for loosing his life. A true hero that he stood up to a crazy, drunk ass who is a waste of human skin. Sad, sad story:(

  15. Anonymous says on  05/29/2014 at 8:27 am

    God knows how kind Miguels heart is….and he served his purpose well on earth, now he is happy with God.

  16. Anonymous says on  05/29/2014 at 5:33 pm

    Im a dog lover too! And I think it was a very senseless death of this young man! Animal cruelty should be outlawed hod bless Miguel for coming to this aid of this little defenseless animal! But at a terrible cost to him and his family!! RIP!!

  17. Anonymous says on  05/29/2014 at 11:46 pm

    RIP young man, he will be well and truly remembered for what he tried to do, rescue an innocent animal from an abusive drunk, hopefully things will all come together really quickly for setting up Miguel’s Angel’s Ark so his dreams and his achievements will live on forever

  18. Andrea says on  05/30/2014 at 3:55 am

    So very sad :-( The world has lost a wonderful and compassionate soul!! RIP Miguel Angel Palacios……………..

  19. Anonymous says on  05/30/2014 at 8:25 pm

    Sorry to read about the young mam who lost his life defending a dog from a drunken man.
    This type hero deserves a medal for his act. It will not be enjoyed by the boy, but will give
    some pleasure to his parents. God bless them all.

  20. Anonymous says on  06/01/2014 at 9:47 pm

    Miguel u r my hero for rescuing animals. Evedently this bastard deserves to go to prison for life. How can u kill some one like that u have no heart u no good for nothing idiot. My heart and prayers go out to Miguel’s family be proud of your son he will always be a very special person.

    Woof woof

  21. Anonymous says on  06/16/2014 at 2:27 pm

    I wish that that man was alive he should have not died, and never let a achoholic be in charge of a dog for a couple of days.


    • Anonymous says on  03/06/2015 at 3:30 am

      that’s for sure . leaving your furry kids with someone who drinks is a bad idea.. I bet the owner was horrified when he or if he found out what was about to happen to his pup. I am glad the teenager was there at the right time. God told him to be there I believe that.

  22. Crissy M says on  06/25/2014 at 12:18 am

    Please, look at what this persons hate has done..

  23. VIGIL says on  07/08/2014 at 9:58 am

    You are a ministering angel in heaven now, for sure, Miguel! Please look kindly upon all those struggling on the planet you left too soon! FOREVER BLESS YOUR HEART OF GOLD!

  24. Freely says on  07/08/2014 at 10:08 am

    They say those whom the gods love they take away early, Miguel. It certainly was the case for you! But you are a saint in your own right now : THANK YOU!

  25. Pablo Cervantes says on  07/16/2014 at 3:27 pm

    Sad story but please…you don’t give your dog a way. Dogs are not presents; they are family.

  26. Anonymous says on  07/27/2014 at 8:56 pm

    So sorry to hear about the boy. My prayers are for the family. I hope he (ABUSER) get the max by the law for this tragic situation. That the organization ANGEL takes flight.

  27. Anonymous says on  07/28/2014 at 9:15 pm

    Wow….this is freaking heartbreaking. Brought me to tears. At 19 he was just starting to live his life. Such an amazing young man. People like him is what we need in this world to make a difference. My prayers go out to his family.

  28. Loveya* says on  08/07/2014 at 4:51 pm

    What a sad story.. ;( But Mr Miguel Ángel Palacios, your legacy will live on and will continue to touch others with a positive aspect. I strongly believe this horrific tragedy will not discourage people to defend the helpless animals from now on, instead all the animal lovers will be more aware and keep on what we’ll do normally, the KIND thing. Rest in peace <3

  29. Anonymous says on  08/21/2014 at 9:03 am

    Something really has to be done about animal abusers and I also mean the ones who take part in activities such as fox hunting, if they have the ability to cause harm, discomfort and even death to animals they also have the ability to do that to other people too, this story is clear evidence of it. Reading this brings me sadness to know such a kind hearted animal lover lost his life to such a pathetic excuse of a human being. RIP Palacios, you will be remembered.

    Another thing which also bugs me is why on earth did the owner decide to leave his companion with such a pathetic excuse of a man?!.

  30. taxpayinghorse says on  09/24/2014 at 1:01 am

    His life meant something. He championed a defenseless little fur baby. There was a parade welcoming you at the Rainbow Bridge. I look forward to meeting you one day. Animal lovers of the world, we can only hope our lives will be used in a way that is meaningful protecting those that can’t protect themselves and spreading the gospel. Not in that order of course.

  31. Lilith says on  12/05/2014 at 6:40 am

    Sad about the boys death, but it’s so good to hear people are finally recognising that not all youths are senseless and ignorant. This young man had a compassionate heart and he is an example to all of us. Stand up for what you believe in!

  32. Jodie says on  12/13/2014 at 2:05 pm

    My heart goes out to his family, such a senseless and tragic loss of a young man that would have made such a difference in our lives and the lives of animals. I am so proud of his Mother, to undergo such a tragedy and turn it into a positive. By starting a rescue in his name, that will serve his community and the animals for years to come. His name and deed will be remembered for a long long time to come. I have faced off with people attempting to harm their dogs.and I stopped them. It is extremely scary, but, it has to be done to protect those animals. I have rescued 100’s of cats myself. I took them in fed and cared for them until forever homes could be found. And I cried each time they left me, but, I knew they were going to be well cared for. Speaking of which, I am on my way to deliver a Momma cat and one of her six kittens to their loving forever home right now, I pray that Miguel’s Mother finds peace in the work she will be doing for the animals. I pray that the man who did this gets what he deserves. I pray that the community comes together to pass laws against Animal Cruelty. And once those laws are passed, they will be carried out faithfully. I also pray the sentences are long and very strong.

    • Anonymous says on  03/06/2015 at 3:23 am

      I am glad the teenage boy helped this puppy in need he was a very brave boy. going to save a puppy from a drunk person. he was a very nice kid to help out a puppy dog. its very good of his family to start a rescue in the kids honor.. as for the drunk man he needs to be killed. he doesn’t deserve to live. Dog spelled backwards is God,& God is always watching remember that people..

  33. Christopher says on  01/02/2015 at 7:22 am

    Miguel was a prime example of a truly good and caring person. Shame he lost his life so early but his sacrifice will achieve a lot to make a difference in the lives of countless animals. He should be lauded for the huge step he took to save another being’s life. I am sure he has a nice place in heaven.
    If all people could care that much for others, this would be a truly wonderful world. I know his family must hurt over the loss of their loved one but he a REAL HERO and a man that all should aspire to emulate. Enjoy your rewards on the other side, you were a warrior in life and I would hope that you will continue to inspire greatness in others.

  34. Louise says on  01/20/2015 at 4:06 pm

    How tragic. This amazing, caring young man is surely in heaven and received a wonderful welcome. My condolances to his family and friends. The loss of Miguel is a loss for our world. He was truly an angel, doing the work of God. A real hero with a heart of gold. The person who did these crimes should forfeit his own life. He doesn’t deserve to be alive and would most likely continue doing more evil.

  35. Carmen says on  02/23/2015 at 3:43 pm

    This is heartbreaking and is just what I’ve been telling so many people on this site. Animal abusers are often abusive to their spouses, children, other members of society, serial killers, responsible for massive shootings etc. They are criminals and should be treated as such and NEVER be trusted. I hope he gets jail house justice for taking the life of this young man, who died defending the helpless. I pray for his family and their healing. God bless them.

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