Young Animal Activist Dies Defending Dog from Animal Abuser

Life With Dogs is reader-supported. We may earn a small commission through products purchased using links on this page.

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.


98 thoughts on “Young Animal Activist Dies Defending Dog from Animal Abuser”

  1. 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

    • 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.

      • that really comes from the heart. i agree 100% ,too.Rest in peace young man,everybody will pray for you.

  2. 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. 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. 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. 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

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


Leave a Comment