27-year-old Cory Allen Smith was arrested on February 21st after Great Falls police responded to an animal cruelty complaint following a domestic dispute. According to the police report, his ex-girlfriend said he stomped the dog to death following a heated argument. Smith was charged with ill-treatment of animals subsection B "to cruelly kill", which is considered a felony and can result in up to five years in prison.
"It's my understanding that he told an officer and the judge at his first bond hearing that the dog got tangled up in his legs as he was backing up and he accidentally stepped on it," Great Falls Police Chief Steven Rice told FOX 46. "That must have been one heck of a step, and even if that's what happened, he still didn't call a vet or try to give the dog medical attention, it was left there to suffer."
Chief Rice said the small breed puppy with black fur was found under a pile of leaves with its head and neck area crushed and "splatted". He said the injuries were consistent with the dog's head being stomped several times.
Smith bonded out of jail the day after his arrest on a $1,000 bond.
His next court date is on March 23rd.
"The judge set the bond way too low," Chief Rice said. "We are going to re-issue the bond paperwork, but he won't be incarcerated again. We believe we have more than enough evidence for a conviction."