A 30-year-old Stillwater man is facing one count of felony animal cruelty after being accused of punching his girlfriend’s 7-year-old chihuahua to death. Andrew Eugene Fields was charged Monday and a warrant was issued for his arrest Wednesday.
According to the probable cause affidavit, on Jan. 29 Field’s girlfriend went to the City of Stillwater Animal Welfare Department to report that she believed Fields caused her dog’s death. Stillwater Police Detective Sherae LeJeune followed up the investigation by interviewing the girlfriend.
According to LeJeune’s report, the girlfriend first mentioned an incident in late November when Fields was left home alone with the dog while she was at work. She told the detective that when she got home something was wrong with her dog, Sally. The girlfriend said Fields told her that he punched Sally because the dog bit him while he was trying to bathe it.
She also said she returned home from work at 11:30 p.m. on Jan. 28 after leaving Sally alone with Fields and found the dog lying on her bed and “exhibiting unusual, distressed behavior. She was panting heavily, her gums were white and she could not stand on her own. Her coat was damp from the tips of her ears to the tip of her tail.”
The girlfriend said she stayed with the dog until it died at 1 a.m. that night. She told police that from the time she got home, until the time the dog died, Fields stayed in the living room. She said she was very distraught and Fields would not console her and that Fields did not go into the bedroom until the girlfriend had placed the body in a crate in the living room.
She said when she asked Fields what happened to the dog, Fields told her he did not notice anything unusual and explained that the dog was wet because it may have walked into its water bowl.
During a Feb. 18 interview with LeJeune, the detective writes Fields admitted that on the day of the incident he pinned the dog to the ground and punched it three or four times and caused it to die, saying the dog “pissed him off” and he “lost his cool” because the dog pooped on the floor after Fields had cleaned. LeJeune said Fields told her that he believed the dog did not like him because there had been an incident when he was roughhousing with his girlfriend and the dog snapped at him.
Animal cruelty is punishable by up to five years in prison or up to one year in county jail and a fine up to $5,000.