EL CAJON, Calif – A 69-year-old Spring Valley man accused of pummeling his small dog to death for digging up a newly planted tree in his yard pleaded not guilty Wednesday to a felony animal cruelty charge.
Charles Alexander Dudley, who is free on $25,000 bail, will be back in court June 19 for a readiness conference and July 8 for a preliminary hearing.
A neighbor called the county Department of Animal Services the night of May 13 to report seeing Dudley severely beating the 2-year-old female miniature pinscher at his home in the 3500 block of Bentley Drive, said DAS spokesman Dan DeSousa.
A responding animal-control officer found the badly injured eight-pound canine barely breathing in Dudley’s back yard and took her to a veterinary hospital, where she died later in the night.
The suspect allegedly told an investigator he had beaten the dog because she uprooted a tree he recently had planted outside his home.