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Florida man accused of killing toy poodle with dowel, attacking terrier during ‘rampage’

Suspect said he was mad at his parents

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – A man who was mad at his parents went on a rampage, attacking one dog and killing another with a wooden dowel, according to the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies said they arrived at Austin Ilardo’s home on Lehigh Drive around 10 p.m. Tuesday after receiving a report of the 18-year-old suspect’s “rampage.”

Ilardo said he was angry with his parents and he took it out on a Boston terrier, striking the dog several times with his hands and his shoe, according to a news release.

He realized what he was doing was wrong, so he put the terrier in a bathroom so he wouldn’t hurt her anymore then called his dad and told him what happened, authorities said.

Ilardo called his father and during the conversation his dad sniffled, which made him angry once again so he grabbed a 3-pound wooden dowel and fatally struck his step mother’s toy poodle, records show.

“The dog is very annoying,” Ilardo said, according to the report.

He said he’s had violent thoughts about the animals before, records show.

“I’ve had desires to hurt them both multiple times and I acted on them tonight,” Ilardo reportedly said.

Deputies said they found the poodle’s body and the dowel used in the attack. The Boston terrier was found in the bathroom and did not have any visible injuries.

Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood described the crime as senseless.

“I think I speak for most of us when I say I’ll never understand taking out your anger on a defenseless animal. People are capable of terrible things,” he posted on Twitter.

Ilardo, 18, is facing charges of felony animal cruelty and misdemeanor animal cruelty. He’s being held at the Volusia County Jail on $6,000 bond.


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