FARMINGTON — Sheriff's deputies issued arrest warrants for two Aztec men Wednesday after the pair allegedly cut a dog's head off with a chainsaw when the knife they tried to use didn't work.
Young children were inside the residence at the time.
Teddy Sexton, 32, and Corey Bowen, 31, face charges of fourth-degree felony extreme cruelty to animals, which carries up to 18 months in prison, San Juan County Sheriff's Lt. Dwayne Faverino said.
The men allegedly were trying to put the 2-year-old pit bull down because it previously bit a 9-year-old girl who was visiting the residence, Faverino said.
"Sexton said this was the second time the dog has bitten someone and he felt it needed to be put down," Faverino said.
Because Sexton is on felony probation, he told deputies he couldn't obtain a gun. Instead, he grabbed a kitchen knife and went to the place where the dog was tied up, Faverino said.
He and Bowen, who lives on the same property, attempted to use the knife to cut the dog's throat, but they were having difficulty and grabbed the chainsaw, Faverino said.
Sheriff's deputies and an animal control officer recovered the dog's body, which will be tested for rabies.
A Children, Youth and Families Department investigator tipped off deputies to the incident after being notified about several young children suffering from nightmares stemming from the incident.
It is unknown if the children, believed to be Sexton's, witnessed the incident, Faverino said.
Sexton told deputies the children were in the house when he killed the dog.
The children don't live at the residence, Faverino said.
"This is horrible," said Betty Berry, a board member for the San Juan Animal League. "I don't care what the situation is. You always have humane options."
Any veterinarian and either of the two area shelters would help in a situation like this, Berry said.
"It's downright cruel," she said.
Sexton was arrested Thursday on a probation violation and booked at San Juan County Adult Detention Center. He will be served with the animal cruelty charges in jail, Faverino said.
This isn't the first encounter with law enforcement for either man.
Sexton's criminal history includes aggravated battery against a household member, false imprisonment and drug possession charges, according to the state website, nmcourts.gov.
Bowen was charged with drunken driving in 2005.
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