LIMA — The man accused of beating a dog to death will be arraigned Monday in Lima Municipal Court.
Dennis L. Phalen, 68, of Lima, will appear in Lima Municipal Court on a count of cruelty against companion animals, Lima city assistant prosecutor Nicole Smith confirmed Thursday.
He is set to appear at 2 p.m. Monday in court, Smith said. She was not sure which courtroom he would be in or which judge would hear the case.
Allen County Dog Warden Julie Shellhammer investigated the case and turned the charges over to Smith last Tuesday.
The man allegedly beat a Schnauzer-type dog with his hands and fists until the dog’s head caved in after a fight with his wife.
His wife frantically ran the dog into the Allen County Humane Society, where Alicia Phillips, the humane society operations manager, examined the dog.
“The front of the face that I could see was severely swollen beyond recognition and the side that it was laying on, when I moved the dog, the entire other side of the face was clearly shattered and smashed,” she said. “As far as body injuries, I couldn’t really tell. I could see swelling, but I made the assumption that it was pretty broken up. I couldn’t tell you exactly what kind of dog it was to begin with. The swelling on the one side was severe. The snout was swollen, the teeth and eyes were bloody, but the other side of the face, the bones looked like they were definitely shattered.”
Phillips said the dog looked so battered that she initially thought it had been hit by a car, but unfortunately that was not the case.
“I started questioning her about what happened because she said it was her dog. And she said, ‘My husband killed it,’” Phillips said. “I was waiting for her to tell me that he hit it with the car on accident or something and she proceeded to say that he had gotten angry with her and beat the dog to death because it was her dog.”
The case has been noticed nationwide. Justice For Mary, an animal abuse advocacy group, started an online petition addressed toward Smith to press charges on Phalen. The petition can be found at www.causes.com and as of Thursday afternoon, 22,325 people had signed the petition.
According to the Lima Municipal Courts website, Phalen also has two separate charges of animals running at large on his record, both from 2001.
He has no attorney listed on the website.