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Resident charged with animal cruelty

An Austin man was charged Thursday with a felony count of animal cruelty for allegedly killing his girlfriend’s dog last fall.

Andrew Michael Larson, 29, has been summoned to appear in Mower County court on May 27.

According to a criminal complaint, a neighbor called police early on Sept. 19 to report that Larson was swinging a large knife and acting violently toward a dog.

Police arrived and entered the residence with Tasers drawn, quickly apprehending Larson, who was in the living room. That room was in a state of disarray, with broken bottles and overturned tables on the floor, the complaint states.

On a nearby couch, officers found a small Yorkshire Terrier, breathing but badly hurt and not moving. The dog had some blood on its nose and its eyes were rolled back, the complaint states.

Larson, who appeared heavily intoxicated, told officers that he had only yelled at the dog, which belonged to his girlfriend. He added that he was mad at his girlfriend for going out the night before but not coming home.

Officers used Larson’s cell phone to contact the woman. While using the phone, they found a text message sent to the girlfriend that said, “Your dog is dead.”

The dog was taken to the Austin Veterinary Clinic. A veterinarian reported to officers that the dog was in shock, and that it had lacerations to an eyelid, a concussion, and a broken right femur. Despite treatment, the terrier died two days later from injuries sustained due to blunt force trauma.

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