A Monroe man has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to felony animal cruelty after allegedly slitting the throat of his 7-year-old dog.
Michael Kelley, 62, is charged with cruelty to a companion animal, a fifth-degree felony, for allegedly killing his Yorkipoo on Nov. 2, 2018, at his residence in the 3300 block of Carol Ann Lane. A grand jury returned an indictment against Kelley earlier this month.
Kelley, who is free on bond, was arraigned Feb. 21 by Butler County Common Pleas Judge Jennifer McElfresh, who continued bond set in the lower court.
Attorney Paris Ellis filed a not guilty by reason of insanity plea on Kelley’s behalf, and the judge ordered a psychological forensic evaluation. Kelley is scheduled to be back in court March 28 for the hearing on the results of the evaluation.
According to the complaint filed Nov. 21, Butler County Deputy Dog Warden Jennifer Schwaller alleged Kelley took the dog outside and slit its throat with a kitchen knife. However, that attempt was unsuccessful, so he then retrieved a fillet knife.
Kelley’s wife returned home shortly after 4 p.m. and found Kelley lying on his stomach on the kitchen floor and reaching out his arms while gasping for breath, according to the Monroe police report. He did not respond to her, and the refrigerator door was open, according to police.
After calling 911, Peggy Kelley saw blood spots outside the home’s back door and could not find her dog, according to the report.
The dog was found in the yard near a fence with a nearly severed head, according to the report.
“Peggy stated he loved this dog and doesn’t know why he would do this,” the report read.
Peggy Kelley said her husband had suffered from depression since 2005 and had stopped taking his medication. She said when she left for work about 5:30 a.m. that day, her husband was doing well.
The dog, which was wrapped in a blanket when officers arrived, was taken to a Madison Twp. veterinarian for cremation, according to the report.
Kelley was later taken to a hospital for treatment.
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