Minnehaha County man charged in ‘horrific’ animal cruelty case

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Five tiny puppies are without their mom, and a Minnehaha County man is behind bars charged with three counts of animal cruelty.

In court Thursday, a judge called the affidavit “grotesque.”

According to court papers, 41-year-old Jerry Smith Jr. called Metro Communications saying he had killed a dog.

When a humane officer responded to the home in Colton, they saw blood splattered on the wall and a lifeless dog.

Smith told the humane officer the mother dog named Morgan had bitten him, although Smith’s wound did not appear to be bleeding.

The affidavit says he described shoving a large knife down her throat and killing her. Neighbors reported seeing the dog’s body smoldering in a fire pit.

Sioux Falls Area Humane Society Executive Director Kori Baade is sickened, saddened, and shocked by the case.

“I’ve been here a long time and this is one of the cases I think has been probably the most horrific that I’ve seen,” SFAHS Executive Director Kori Baade said.

Five surviving puppies were taken to the ER and one had to receive staples across the entire back of her body.

“Right now the puppies are doing as well as they can be without their mama. It’s very hard for little pups when they don’t have a mom around to nurse, so they’re being bottle fed right now by a medical team,” Baade said.

As the tiny pups continue to get care, Baade wants to share a message…

If you see something, report it.

“I think people just need to realize that don’t be scared to report. Please don’t be scared to report with animals. Maybe it’s nothing, but it could be something and we can intervene before anything terrible like this happens,” Baade said.

According to court papers, the dog and puppies belonged to Smith’s girlfriend, but the two had broken up earlier in the day.

If you’d like to donate to the puppies’ medical care, click here.

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