A Mishawaka, Indiana, man was charged with three counts of animal cruelty after beating a dog to death with a boat oar.
Joshua T. Prior was officially charged with domestic violence, animal cruelty, and killing a domestic animal and cruelty to an animal after killing his father’s dog in a fit of rage.
According to WNDU TV, Price was upset that his father would not lend him $20. George Prior, the father, stated that his son was on an unknown type of pill and was out of control at the time. Joshua Prior returned to his father’s house on multiple occasions throughout the day in an attempt to borrow the $20, but each time his father denied it. The last time he returned, Joshua Prior became irate and started to scream at his father.
During the fit of rage, George Prior’s small dog started barking. Joshua became more irate and yelled at the small terrier.
“Shut the **** up or I’ll kill you.”
The dog did not heed the warning and Joshua Prior grabbed a boat oar from the basement and started hitting the small dog, Minnie, repeatedly in the head and on its body. During the heinous act of animal abuse, Joshua Prior stopped once and looked up at his father, giving another warning.
“you wanna see how irate I can get?”
According to the South Bend Tribune, Joshua Prior has a history of violent acts and was convicted of battery in the past.
After killing the dog, Joshua Prior walked away from the scene. George Prior called the police to report the incident and they found Joshua a few blocks away.
Captain Phil Trent, of the South Bend Police department, stated that animal abuse cases are treated no differently that abuse to another person, both being treated seriously.
“Obviously we take these things very seriously, as everyone should, only because when you have something like this occur, it’s only a very short trip to something like this happening to a person.”
Joshua Prior has not yet been sentenced, but is expected to hear his fate soon.
Shelter manager for the SBACC is happy to see Prior charged and often sees a correlation between animal abuse and violence against people.
“This case in particular, there is a history of violence with this individual as well. Often times we do see correlation. We see drug issues correlated with dog fighting, or animal abuse and neglect. We see domestic violence often correlated with animal abuse, neglect, or animal welfare issues. So it all correlates together and this is very much a case where it really shows,”
[Photo Courtesy St. Joseph County Police Department]