Christopher Simpson was spending part of Christmas Day alone at the house of his girlfriend’s family in New Hanover County, North Carolina.
Well, alone except for Axel, a yellow lab puppy that his girlfriend’s parents adopted on Dec. 1, according to the Port City Daily. His girlfriend and her family went to go see family and Simpson said he would stay behind to play some Xbox, police say.
It wasn’t long until Simpson's girlfriend got a call from him, according to WWAY.
He said Axel peed on him, police say, and that the dog bit him after he swatted him on the butt. The family found Axel dead behind a shed once they got home, according to Star News. Simpson’s girlfriend allegedly told them that her boyfriend didn’t know how strong he was when hitting the dog.
New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Lt. Jerry Brewer told the Star News that Axel bled out internally — and a veterinarian said his liver was like “ground hamburger.”
That veterinarian, Dr. Sam Smith, said somebody “maliciously beat this puppy by punching and kicking him repeatedly to cause this much damage,” Brewer said, according to the Star News. “Dr. Smith reported he has never in his entire career seen an animal with this severe of injuries in the history of his practice.”
Simpson, 21, was arrested Monday and charged with felony animal cruelty, WWAY wrote. He posted a $2,500 bond.
He also had domestic violence and animal cruelty charges against him dropped in 2015 after he allegedly abused a kitten and then assaulted a pregnant woman that same day, WECT reported.
Brewer said he and his officers doubt that Simpson was set off by a puppy’s bite, according to Port City Daily.
“If that puppy bit you with all its might, with everything it had,” he said, “it might have scratched you a bit.”