Washington: A fireworks seller in the US has been accused of blowing up his dog by strapping explosives to its neck, apparently believing that his ex-girlfriend had "put the devil" in the canine.
Christopher Dillingham, 45, pleaded not guilty on Thursday to charges of killing his dog by strapping explosives to the Labrador retriever`s neck and setting them off, according to the Skamania County prosecutor`s office in Washington State.
He pleaded not guilty to charges of possession of a bomb or explosive device with intent to use for an unlawful purpose, a felony in the state carrying a penalty of up to 20 years in prison, CNN reported.
Dillingham also pleaded not guilty to charges that include animal cruelty, fireworks violation and reckless endangerment, prosecutors said.
After his arraignment, Dillingham was returned to the Skamania County Jail, where he has been held on USD 500,000 bond since his arrest after the August 4 incident.
Sheriff`s deputies responding to a person`s call found the dog`s remains scattered on Dillingham`s property.
In an affidavit, Deputy Jordan Ejde said the animal was decapitated.
Ejde`s report said Dillingham reportedly fed the animal dog treats to prevent it from trying to get the explosives off its neck, and Dillingham allegedly set off the explosives from behind a wall for his own safety.
He said he made the explosive devices on his workbench out of black powder found in fireworks, the deputy wrote.
When deputies confronted Dillingham, he told them he blew up the 3-year-old yellow retriever named Cabela because his ex-girlfriend had given him the dog and she had "put the devil in it", according to Ejde`s affidavit.
Dillingham said he was preparing for "the rapture" and that "the world is going to end" because of a nuclear strike, the deputy added.
Authorities did not initially file animal cruelty charges against Dillingham because, according to Ashley Mauceri, manager of cruelty response investigations for the Humane Society of the US, Washington state law stipulates that "animal cruelty charges can be brought only if the animal suffered."
The first investigators in Washington state "didn`t know if the animal suffered because death was instantaneous," Mauceri said.