A man in Alabama has been arrested for drowning his dog with a rope in front of horrified beachgoers and saying it was because the animal had fleas.
Shawn Taulbee, 54, went down to a popular beauty spot in Dauphin Island, walked into the water with the golden lab retriever called Shelly and then held its head underwater for approximately three minutes.
Taulbee allegedly decided to kill the six-year-old pooch after discovering that it was infested with fleas.
He was arrested and charged with one count of first-degree cruelty to a dog on Monday, 3rd July.
Police officers with the Dauphin Island Police Department said they had responded to a call from the car park at the Audubon Bird Sanctuary and were told that an animal was being abused.
Witnesses at the scene told police officers that Taulbee had walked Shelly from the car park at the bird’s entry to a boardwalk and that when he reached the shore, he began using a rope to make a makeshift lead.
He then put it around the dog’s neck and walked into the water, dragging the poor animal behind him.
Witnesses then told the police that he used the rope to pull Shelly towards him before pulling the animal under water several times.
He then eventually held the dog underwater for several minutes, witnesses said.
Jeremy Castile of the Dauphin Island Police Detective told local media: “A couple of other bystanders saw him walk the dog out there. All they knew was that the dog went underwater for about three minutes.”
When confronted about the animal cruelty, Taulbee reportedly showed investigators “no remorse” and was “kind of emotionless at the time”.
He told investigators that he had drowned Shelly because the dog had fleas.
He was booked into the Mobile County Metro Jail before being released after posting a USD 3,000 (GBP 2,348) bond.
Police are reportedly looking into whether additional charges will be filed.