BATTLE CREEK, Mich. — A Battle Creek man was arrested Tuesday night on charges of animal cruelty for beating his dog almost to death and then shooting him, local police said. Wednesday, the suspect was arraigned on a charge of killing or torturing an animal.
Battle Creek police have identified him as 54-year-old David Hursley.
“It carries with it a maximum possible penalty of normally 4 years in prison and or $5,000 [in] fines,” said Magistrate David Heiss during Hursley’s video arraignment.
Hursley was also arraigned on a misdemeanor charge of cruelty to animals with a maximum penalty of 93 days in jail. According to court documents, Hursley is a repeated offender. He has eight prior felony convictions and 20 misdemeanors since 1981. Because of his previous felonies Hursley now faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.
According to police, officers were dispatched to the 50th block of Bennett Street after shots were fired around 8:30pm Tuesday night.
“When they got inside the residence they noticed that there was blood all over the place,” said BCPD Major Austin Simons. “They started talking to everybody inside the place and determined that a dog had been shot with an airsoft gun.”
Simons said that Hursley was petting the dog when it bit his friend’s hand. Hursley then grabbed a baseball bat and began beating the dog repeatedly.
“Then he went to go get a weapon, which was an airsoft weapon, and shot the dog in the head with a pellet gun,” said Simons.
Simons added that when police found the dog, he was lying on the back porch lifeless and barely breathing. They determined the humane decision was to put it down.
The Battle Creek Police Department released a statement saying if an animal has a broken leg then responding officers have the option to seek medical help. However, if the animal is distressed they may put it down to end the suffering.
“This is something that we don’t normally do but looking at the dog's injuries the officer wanted to take the dog out of its misery,” said Simons. “The dog appeared to be breathing faintly and was in bad condition.”
Heiss set Hursley’s bond at $10,000 cash. He’s due to appear in court again for his preliminary hearing on March 1.