A San Rafael man who was seen abusing his pet Chihuahuas until witnesses intervened pleaded guilty to two counts of animal cruelty, a county prosecutor said.

Alex Dillion Maertz, 21, accepted a plea offer Friday and is expected to receive 30 days in jail, said Deputy District Attorney Lori Frugoli. Maertz will be placed on probation for four years and barred from having pets during that period, Frugoli said.

Police said the incident occurred June 18 in the area of Merrydale Road, where Maertz was out with his eight-pound dog Isabella and a four-pounder named Lily. A resident heard a loud commotion and ran outside to see Maertz squeezing one of the Chihuahuas while screaming at her and apparently biting her.

The dog was struggling and biting his bloodied face, while the other dog was on the ground with a leash trailing behind. As witnesses came out of a nearby restaurant, Maertz allegedly picked up the other dog and squeezed it too, then dropped one of the dogs on her back on the pavement.

The dogs remain under the care of the Marin Humane Society, said Chief Operating Officer John Reese.

Maertz remains in custody at the county jail pending sentencing. ------ (c)2014 The Marin Independent Journal (Novato, Calif.) Visit The Marin Independent Journal (Novato, Calif.) at www.marinij.com Distributed by MCT Information Services