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Lovells Township man admits killing neighbor's dog

According to the town's website, Lovells Township is serenely located in northern Michigan between Grayling and Lewiston on County Road 612. The north branch of the Au Sable River runs through the town of 626 residents. It is 55 miles west of Traverse City.

A dispute between neighbors turned violent recently - not between the two men, but between one man and his neighbor's dog. A Lovells Township resident admitted killing and beheading his neighbor's dog. He has been charged with two felony counts related to animal cruelty.

There was no mystery regarding who killed the 6-year-old pit bull, because the accused man called the dog owner and admitted killing the dog and cutting off the dog's head. The man reportedly told the dog owner that he buried the dog's body and would return the head at a later time.

The accused man claimed that the dog was aggressive. Pit bulls are perhaps the most well-known of the so-called bully breeds, however the aggressiveness or non-aggressiveness of any individual dog depends on how it was raised and trained by its owners.

According to the Michigan State University College of Law, there are three cruelty to animal laws on the books. It was not known which statute the accused was charged under, however the felony offense is punishable by no more than 4 years in prison and a fine of no more than $5,000.00. The person charged could also be ordered to pay the costs of prosecution and obtain a psychiatric or psychological evaluation or counseling if necessary. The law was changed in 2008 to remove some ambiguity and to strengthen protections for pets.

The accused man was released on a personal bond pending a court hearing. It was not mentioned how the man would plead.

Source: WLNS, "Man accused of shooting, beheading dog surrenders," Aug. 6, 2012

At our Lansing, Michigan, law firm we represent individuals who have been charged with felonies or misdemeanors including the crime of animal cruelty as described in this post.

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