By WECT Staff | February 18, 2021 at 3:12 PM EST – Updated February 18 at 3:24 PM
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – A New Hanover County man is facing animal cruelty charges after he allegedly stabbed a family dog to death earlier this month.
An arrest warrant states John Ryan Stout, 29, “unlawfully, willfully, and feloniously did stab repeatedly and kill a brown and black dog named Cookie.” A spokesperson for the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office confirmed the dog belonged to Stout’s mother.
The sheriff’s office spokesperson said deputies were alerted to the dog’s possible killing on Feb. 5 and went to investigate at Stout’s home on Rowsgate Lane. He denied the allegation, saying the dog died of natural causes and he buried it in the backyard, the spokesperson said.
A couple of days later, a 911 caller told authorities that they were walking in the woods and found a dead dog inside a trash bag. The spokesperson said a necropsy was performed on the dog and investigators were able to confirm that it was Cookie.
Stout was taken into custody on Wednesday and charged with one count of felony cruelty to animals and booked into the New Hanover County Jail under an initial bond of $10,000.
Stout’s bond was later raised to $25,000 following his first court appearance Thursday afternoon.
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