MIAMI, Nov. 19 (UPI) -- A Miami man is charged in the death of a 4-month-old puppy that witnesses said was dragged across a parking lot and slammed onto the ground.
Matthew Milewski, 25, is scheduled to go for trial on felony animal cruelty charges before Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Yvonna Colodny Jan. 28, The Miami Herald reported Sunday.
Milewski had bought the beagle puppy, Molly, from Outback Beagles breeders in Arkansas Nov. 11, 2011. Less than a day after she arrived in Miami by plane, witnesses said they saw Milewski abusing her outside his apartment complex. They said he dragged her across a parking lot and struck her with a leash.
Milewski denied the accusations, saying he was using the leash to train Molly according to a shock collar's instructions.
He said Molly's paw began bleeding when he walked her that day, so he took her into the shower in his apartment to clean her up. Milewski said the puppy bit him, so he dropped her and pushed her into the shower, at which point she became unresponsive.
Dr. Rosandra Manduca, a veterinary pathologist, performed a necropsy on Molly and found bruising on the puppy's mouth and nostrils.
"Death was likely due to brain injury secondary to head trauma," she said.
Manduca said the puppy was likely slammed against a hard surface.
If convicted, Milewski could face up to five years in prison and/or a fine up to $10,000.