Police arrested Ohio man Harley James Paynter on Wednesday in connection with a gruesome animal cruelty crime.
A woman called Newark, Ohio, emergency services at about 1:45 a.m. Wednesday morning after finding her dog’s severed tongue in her house. She said Paynter, a friend of her son, had just left her house with a bloody face moments before.
“I found my dog’s tongue, and my dog is gone,” the woman said. “[Paynter] had blood all over his face. He done something to my dog and left.”
Over the ensuing hours, the owner of the 13-year-old pug found the dog’s eyes, teeth and intestines scattered around her property.
“The homeowner woke up in the morning and found pieces of the dog in the yard and in the house," Newark Police Department Sgt. Paul Davis said.
"I hope this is the last time in my career that I have to talk about something like this,” he added.
Police are still struggling to identify a motive for the crime, but they suspect drugs and/or alcohol were involved.
Residents of the neighborhood are understandably distressed.
“It’s scary,” neighbor and dog owner Debbie Levering said. “It’s frightening. It makes me want to move.”
Paynter was arrested on Wednesday and is expected to be arraigned on animal cruelty charges today.