An Orting man pleaded guilty Monday to beating his neighbor’s dog with a hatchet.
Ricky Lee Knowles, 55, will be sentenced for first-degree animal cruelty Sept. 17. Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist said his office will ask for the high end of the sentencing range. The stiffest sentence would be one year in a jail.
Knowles was arrested March 20 after police found a neighbor’s 3-year-old dog, Kona, tied to a pole in his garage on Williams Street Northwest. The pup suffered a crushed skull and broken jaw, among other injuries.
The dog’s veterinarian bills have reached nearly $5,000. Kona and his owners since have moved out of state.
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Animal control officers had to cut a piece of wire matted with dog hair from around the dog’s neck. Police found blood-splattered cutting tools, dog treats and a bloody garbage can when they served a search warrant at Knowles’ home.
No motive has been determined.