Lehi man arrested after allegedly killing family pet in front of his children

Courtney Woodruff. Photo Courtesy: Utah County Sheriff's Office

NORTH LEHI, Utah, Dec. 3, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — A North Lehi man was arrested Friday after he allegedly killed the family dog in front of his two small children.

A probable cause statement from Utah County said Courtney Leland Woodruff, 33, is facing a charge of aggravated cruelty to animals — intentional or knowingly, a class A misdemeanor.

Lehi police officers were dispatched Friday to a report of a man, subsequently identified as Woodruff, who had reportedly kicked his puppy, a 2-month-old Cocker Spaniel, and killed it.

“Officers made contact with Courtney’s wife, who advised officers that she had gone to the grocery store and left her two children at home,” the statement said. “Her children, who are 5 and 1, were home with Courtney when the incident occurred. Courtney’s wife told officers that when she came home, she saw that the puppy was unconscious and barely breathing.”

Woodruff’s wife said that he told her he kicked the dog because it pooped on their floor so he kicked it and “must have kicked it too hard,” the statement said.

The suspect’s wife was preparing to take the puppy to the vet when she noticed it stopped breathing, the statement added.

“Courtney’s 5-year-old son told officers that he was in the other room when he heard the puppy start crying and screaming so he went into the room with Courtney and saw him being mean to the puppy,” the statement said. “Officers observed the puppy and found that it was deceased and could not observe any obvious trauma.”

Officers went to Woodruff’s parents house, where it was believed he was staying, and made contact with the suspect. When officers asked the suspect what had happened with the puppy, he refused to talk without an attorney present.

He was subsequently arrested, and officials determined Woodruff could be released with a mandatory court appearance as a condition.


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