A man from Venice, Florida is accused of brutally killing an 8-pound chihuahua during a domestic dispute after he reportedly claimed that the dog had a “strong magnetic force.”
Deputies were called to a home Saturday evening, after Aaron Merwine, 26, allegedly attempted to kill the dog, named "Lucky," and threatened to murder a woman in the home, according to WFTS in Tampa Bay.
Merwine is accused of stabbing the dog about five times near its neck and head. The dog eventually died from its injuries, according to a press release from the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office.
Merwine was dog-sitting the unlucky canine for the weekend for its owners, TJ Connors and Samantha Smith, who adopted the dog from Merwine’s family.
“Every couple of weeks I’d get a text asking if they could see the pups, so we’d take them over for the weekend,” Connors told local outlet WWSB. “They were regular parts of the dog’s life, so that’s why I can’t even believe I’m having this conversation with you right now.”
Merwine has been charged with five felony counts of aggravated cruelty to animals and one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. He has been jailed on $120,000 bail. Lucky will undergo a necropsy, which will determine the exact cause of death, according to the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office.
Merwine allegedly told a deputy that there was a “strong magnetic force” between him and the dog, which triggered him to kill it, according to the Sheriff's Office.
Merwine’s family insisted he loved the dog.
“To find out that it was my son who did this. He snapped. It’s just unreal. I don’t know how that just happens. That was his dog,” James Mucha, Merwine’s father, told WWSB. “I’m really sorry for what my son’s done. I’m torn to pieces because I love Lucky, and for it to end right outside my doors has been even harder because I have to walk outside and see it every day, so I said we’ll plant flowers and plant a little tree here and call it our Lucky tree because Lucky’s little soul was here.”
It’s not clear if Merwine has a lawyer who can speak on his behalf at this time.
His father, however, said he is in a “bad place” and that he has been trying to get Merwine to undergo mental health treatment.
Merwine is due back in court on May 10, according to WWSB.
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