Deputies: Man cut dog's throat

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St. Johns County Sheriff's Office booking photo of Randal Hart

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. - A 28-year-old St. Johns County man was arrested on a charge of animal cruelty after deputies said he cut his dog's throat Sunday night.

Deputies and Animal Control went to Randal Hart's home at 10:20 a.m. Monday when a witness contacted the Sheriff's Office to report what happened, investigators said.

The witness told deputies that Hart stabbed the dog several times and cut its throat, investigators said.

Hart then was seen dragging the howling dog to a nearby plot of land, deputies said.

Hart was found at his home Monday morning. It took a deputy and Animal Control officer about 45 minutes to
find the dog, a St. Bernard mix, in a grassy area near the home. The dog was still alive but in obvious distress.

The Animal Control officer transported the dog to Atlantic Veterinarian Hospital for emergency surgery.

Hart told investigators he stabbed the dog because it bit a kitten and needed to be "put down." The deputy also found the kitten and saw no injury to it as it was playing with another dog on the property.

Hart was booked into the St. Johns County jail.

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