STILLWATER, Minn. - A Cottage Grove man is charged with two counts of felony animal cruelty after police say he attacked a dog with a machete.
Police were called to a gas station on June 21 by a woman who told them her brother, who was living with her, was acting strangely. Officers were told that she had become embroiled in an argument with that man, 37-year-old George R. Nichols, over where his Miniature Pincher would be kept during the day while she was away from the house.
The defendant's sister told officers that at one point during the argument Nichols left the home with the dog. He later came back without it.
While officers went to the woman's house to escort Nichols off the property they were informed that squads from St. Paul Park were responding to reports of an injured animal by Gray Cloud Island. They responded and found the little dog pinned underneath a porta-potty that had been turned over. The dog was also suffering from deep lacerations on his head, a fractured jaw and brain hemorrhaging, and was subsequently euthanized.
When questioned Nichols reportedly told investigators that he killed the dog in an attempt to solve the argument, and insisted that since it was his dog he could do what he wanted to it.
An officer transporting Nichols after his arrest on animal cruelty charges said the defendant said he grew up on a farm and frequently used a machete to cut off the heads of chickens.
If convicted George Nichols faces a possible two years in prison on each of the two animal cruelty charges.
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