STEVENS POINT (WAOW) - A Portage County man killed his dog, a bluetick coonhound, with a hammer, in part to get his estranged wife to return to their home, a prosecutor said Wednesday.
Cody Phillips, 26, of Bancroft was arrested Sunday after deputies learned about the incident from Phillips' wife and aunt, Portage County Assistant District Attorney Cass Cousins said.
Phillips, who was arrested on suspicion of felony animal abuse causing death, is free on a $500 cash bond, authorities said. No charges were filed Wednesday.
Phillips told investigators that he was upset with the dog, named Clyde, because it repeatedly urinated and defecated in the mobile home, Cousins said.
Phillips told investigators he grabbed the dog by the collar, the dog growled and he hit it with a hammer, causing the dog to collapse, the prosecutor said. "He said he hit it twice more to kill it," Cousins said.
Deputies found the dead dog outside alongside the trailer.
According to Cousins, Phillips was angry that his wife filed for divorce and moved out with their children and he attributed a "big part" of the problem to Clyde. "He hoped that if he (Clyde) was gone, things might improve between him and his wife."
Phillips owned another dog that was not hurt in the outburst, Cousins said.
Court records say Phillips is to make an initial appearance in Portage County Circuit Court on Monday. The maximum punishment for felony animal abuse causing death is 3.5 years in prison, Cousins said.