Salt Lake County Jail
Michael Anthony Fario

SOUTH JORDAN — A man accused of killing his 8-month-old puppy and then trying to hide it by putting the animal in a trash can has been arrested.

Michael Anthony Fario, 25, of South Jordan, was arrested over the weekend for investigation of torture of a companion animal and obstruction of justice.

According to a Salt Lake County Jail report, Fario's stepfather was the one who called South Jordan police to report him. He "described seeing and hearing Michael beat the dog on multiple occasions. The complainant said during those beatings, Michael was hitting the dog repeatedly, much more than someone would normally discipline a puppy in training," the report states. "(He) went on to describe the beatings as a 'ground and pound' where Michael was beating the dog, with closed fists."

The Australian shepherd had not been seen by the family for several days. Fario had had the dog since September.

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When police interviewed him, Fario admitted hitting the dog, "then stated the dog stayed in its kennel for about four days, not eating or drinking and acting strange and lethargic," according to the report.

On Saturday, Fario found the dog deceased in its kennel, "and he took it out to the trash because he didn't want to tell his family," the report states. Fario at first told his family the dog had run away, then told them he returned it to the person from whom he purchased the dog.

The body of the dog was discovered in a bag, wrapped in a sheet, at the bottom of a trash can, the report states.