A Kearns man accused of slashing his neighbor's dog, apparently because he thought the animal barked too much, was arrested Tuesday and booked into the jail for investigation of misdemeanor animal cruelty.
"Sadie," a 5-year-old pointer, was in her fenced yard near 5900 South and 4500 West, just after 2 p.m. When she stuck her nose through a slat in the fence, it was slashed.
The man "stabbed his neighbor's dog several times with a (butcher) knife because the dog would not stop barking," according to a Salt Lake County Jail report.
The injury to Sadie was not life-threatening, but blood from her nose stained the snow and wood fence.
"The dog was having difficulty breathing and was in need of medical assistance," the jail report stated.
The man, 28, was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail for investigation of cruelty to animals and he had numerous outstanding warrants for domestic violence, drug possession and threats with a dangerous weapon.
The man allegedly told an officer from Salt Lake County Animal Services that the dog had also defecated in his yard. Animal services spokeswoman Temma Martin said the investigating officer found no evidence of that or even footprints in the yard. Regardless, Martin said no matter how much a dog barks, resorting to violence is never right.
"There are always legal ways of dealing with any sort of nuisance problem. It should never come down to a person taking out their wrath on a pet," she said. "That seems obvious but we need to keep reminding people."
The pet is very rarely at fault, she said. In most cases, the owner is unaware there is a problem, Martin said. The best action is to call the appropriate law enforcement agency so they can educate the parties involved.
Salt Lake County Animal Services is pushing for the passage of SB102 or "Henry's Law," which would allow some animal cruelty cases to be prosecuted as felonies. Martin said she wasn't sure if the incident involving Sadie would qualify as a Henry's Law case."But it's another reminder that our animals are victims of a lot of different kinds of cruelty," she said.