An Orting man pleaded not guilty today to first-degree animal cruelty after police found a severely injured dog belonging to his neighbor tied up in his garage.
Someone called 911 on Tuesday after allegedly seeing Ricky Lee Knowles, 55, beating a dog with what appeared to be a hatchet.
Officers responded to Knowles’ home on Williams Street NW and called for Knowles to come outside. The man eventually exited the garage and officers spotted the dog tied to a pole.
According to charging documents:
The dog was bleeding profusely from its head and neck and a pair of bloody pants laid next to the pup.
After police notified the dog’s owner of what happened, the owner informed officers that Knowles did not have permission to have his dog and that the dog was kept in a fenced backyard.
Animal control officers had to cut a piece of wire matted with dog hair from around the dog’s neck.
Police obtained a search warrant and found bloody pants, blood-splattered cutting tools, a bloody garbage can and dog treats.
They also found blood in a backyard shed and a hammer covered in blood and dog hair. A fire pit next to the shed had a bloodied plastic cover on it.
Knowles’ bail was set at $20,000.