A Pinellas Park man is facing a felony animal cruelty charge after he choked his dog to death, police say.
Joseph Wayne Walker, 38, killed the dog after he learned that it had bitten his girlfriend on the ankle, police said. Officers described the dog as a 10-year-old pitbull mix that weighed about 25 pounds.
Police said the incident occurred about 1 a.m. Sunday at Walker’s residence in the 12500 block of Tree Street. Walker was sleeping when the bite occurred, but awoke when his girlfriend came inside to clean the wound, arrest reports state.
Walker then took the dog to the front yard, straddled it and choked it. He later told police it took several minutes for the dog to die, arrest reports state.
Officers noted in reports that Walker had scratch marks on his stomach from the dog trying to get free.
Walker was booked at the Pinellas County jail and later released on $10,000 bail. An assistant public defender was appointed to represent him and has entered a not guilty plea on his behalf.
A judge ordered Walker to have no pets.