NEW YORK, Feb. 20 (UPI) -- A New York City man who allegedly beat his Chihuahua to where veterinarians had to euthanize the animal has been arrested on a felony charge, officials said.
Jerry Melendez, 33, of Queens allegedly struck the 8-pound dog on Feb. 10 with enough force to fracture his skull and cause a hemorrhage to the animal's left eye, injuries so serious that ultimately the dog had to be euthanized, the New York Post reported Sunday.
"It appears he was just frustrated and became angry at his family dog," ASPCA Assistant Director Joe Pentangelo said.
After the alleged assault, Melendez took the 5-year-old Chihuahua to a private animal hospital, but when told he'd have to pay $5,800 to get the proper treatment, Melendez refused, saying he couldn't afford it.
Veterinarians said they were left with no option but to euthanize the dog.
Melendez is facing two years in prison for felony animal cruelty.
"It's a serious arrest with serious consequences," Pentangelo said of the society's first felony arrest of the year.
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