An Orting man who attacked his neighbor’s dog with a hatchet and tried to strangle it with wire was sentenced to six months in jail Monday.
Ricky Lee Knowles, 55, must also spend six months on electronic home monitoring and pay the golden retriever’s veterinarian bills, which amounted to $5,000. Knowles is banned from owning pets or having animals in his house.
He pleaded guilty Monday to first-degree animal cruelty. During the sentencing, he apologized to the dog’s owners, who since have moved out of state but attended the hearing.
Deputy prosecuting attorney Dione Hauger asked for the maximum sentence because the crime was particularly violent.
The decision “was based on the brutality of the actual crime,” she said later. “It was based on the thought and premeditation that went into it. And it was based on the fact that this was a fairly vulnerable victim.”
Knowles was arrested in March after police found the 3-year-old dog, Kona, tied to a pole in his garage on Williams Street Northwest. The dog suffered a crushed skull and broken jaw, among other injuries.
Knowles did not say why he attacked the dog, but Kona’s owners said Knowles complained once about the dog barking.
Animal control officers who rescued Kona had to cut a piece of wire matted with dog hair from around the animal’s neck. They found blood-splattered cutting tools, a hammer, dog treats and a bloody garbage can when they served a search warrant at Knowles’ home after his firstname.lastname@example.org