Savage man allegedly killed his golden retriever with sledgehammer in front of children [MUGSHOT]
Rudolph Poppe's golden retriever was old, could barely walk, and had defecated on his floor, so it's understandable that he decided to put the dog down. But the unfathomably brutal method he chose for that has him facing multiple felony charges.
Poppe, a 71-year-old Savage resident, allegedly beat his dog to death with a sledgehammer outside his garage, in plain view of horrified onlookers.
According to the criminal complaint, at approximately 7:16 p.m. on July 12, police were called to a home in the 13400 block of Alabama Avenue for a report of a man beating a dog with a sledgehammer. When officers arrived, they observed neighbors - including children - screaming, crying and pointing to Poppe's address.
The officers approached Poppe's house and saw a golden retriever lying near the threshold of the garage with a white plastic bag over its head. The dog's chest was still moving as it was trying to breathe. After observing blood on the dog and on Poppe's shirt, officers informed Poppe that he was under arrest.
Poppe allegedly resisted as officers tried to handcuff him and refused to follow their commands. Officers eventually took Poppe to the ground and were forced to use two sets of handcuffs as they could only get one set on at a time. Poppe allegedly continued resisting all the way to the squad car.
After removing the plastic bag from the dog's head, officers observed the gruesome injuries the dog had sustained. The dog was still alive, and animal control was called to transport the dog to an emergency veterinarian. The dog was eventually euthanized at 8:40 p.m.
Police say a neighbor, seeing Poppe toting a larger hammer near his dog before the brutality began, pleaded with him "not to do it this way" and volunteered to take the dog to the vet to have it put down. But when it became clear Poppe wasn't going to listen, the neighbor called 911.
According to the Valley News report, Poppe wouldn't respond when police asked him why he didn't bring the dog to the vet. He's been charged with felony animal cruelty, felony animal torture, obstructing the legal process, and disorderly conduct.
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