Man Charged With Beating, Choking His Dog to Death

A Walton County man has been sentenced to one year in jail for felony animal cruelty.

Anthony Ryan Huenergardt was sentenced by Judge Kelvin Wells in DeFunial Springs to one year in jail followed by felony probation for beating and strangling to death his Rottweiler named Bella.

The crime took place in May of last year. Huenergardt’s neighbors had called the Walton County sheriff’s office after they heard the dog crying out in distress and pain. Deputies went to the home, where the suspect had moved and found the dog dead.

A necropsy was performed at the University of Georgia. Charges were then filed. In addition to the jail term and probation, Judge Wells ordered Huenergardt to undergo psychological evaluation and treatment and pay costs of the overall investigation to Alaqua Animal Refuge in Freeport.

The judge also stipulated the defendant was prohibited from ever owning or residing with domesticated animals.

In addition to the Walton County Sheriff’s Department, the Office of the State Attorney for the First Judicial Circuit and Alaqua Animal Refuge all took part in handling the case.

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