A Miami-Dade man is facing a third-degree felony charge of animal cruelty over the death of a beagle puppy.
The 29-year old man is being charged after it is alleged that he caused the death of the puppy by dragging it across a parking lot and beating it with a leash.
The accused has given a statement to police indicating that the dog may have died accidentally when dropped.
Animal cruelty can be a misdemeanor if the animal is not seriously injured or killed. If an animal is seriously injured or killed, then the charge becomes a felony.
If convicted at trial the accused faces up to 5 years in state prison.
Eric Matheny is a criminal defense attorney serving Miami-Dade and Broward.