PONCE INLET, Fla. – A Ponce Inlet man was arrested early Saturday after police officers found his 9-month-old puppy beaten to death in his backyard, police said.
Ponce Inlet police said they went to a home on Aurora Avenue around 12:20 a.m. after receiving a call from a man who said he could hear his neighbor beating his dog.
Once officers arrived, they said saw Travis Archer, 43, in his backyard and heard what sounded like him punching the puppy.
Archer told police the dog made a mess in the house and he was trying to discipline him when the dog bit his hand, according to the police report. Archer said he then hit the dog a couple of times. Police said they could see a small laceration on Archer's hand.
Police followed Archer into the home, where they saw a pile of ripped-up papers and CD cases on the ground and a large hole in the wall, police said.
Officers then followed Archer to the backyard, where they found the black dog lying on its side with its head resting against the fence, police said. Police said the dog appeared to have been gagged and was bleeding severely from its mouth. Officers said they also found blood stains all over the fence next to the dog's body.
Archer told police that he threw the dog against the wall, brought it outside and hit it twice, according to the report.
Officers said they then went over to check on the puppy and found that it was not breathing.
Archer was arrested and charged with aggravated animal cruelty in the Labrador puppy's death, Ponce Inlet police said.
Ponce Inlet Police Chief Frank Fabrizio provided News 6 with a statement on the incident Saturday afternoon.
“A local resident was arrested early this morning for the offense of aggravated animal cruelty after officers responding to a call for service found a 9 month old Labrador bloodied and beaten lying against the fence in his back yard. Upon further investigation it was found that the dog had succumbed to his injuries and had expired," he wrote. "Based upon the evidence that was found and collected from the scene the subject was then placed under arrest and transported to the Ponce Inlet Police Department and after processing transported to the Volusia County Branch Jail."
No other details were available. Stay with News 6 and ClickOrlando.com for updates on this story.