Jones County man accused of strangling dog

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JONES COUNTY (KCRG-TV9) -- The Jones County Sheriff says the dog has been released from the Monticello Vet Clinic. It is back with its owner, and is expected to make a full recovery.
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Dustin Rickels, 31, of Monticello, is being charged after admitting to strangling a dog until it was limp.

On Saturday, September 9, a call to dispatch at 9:28 p.m. referenced a welfare check on a dog after the caller saw a Facebook post that stated Dustin Rickels strangled and killed a dog belonging to Krystal Keppel.

When on the scene, the officer spoke to Keppel. Keppel said she saw Rickels strangle the dog and take the dog away.

Keppel said she did not know where the dog was and Rickels refused to tell her.

The dog was a shiatzu/maltase mixture and weighed approximately eight pounds.

The officer found the dog behind the house alone. After going closer, the officer noticed the dog's eye was popped out of the eye socket and was bleeding.

According to the criminal complaint, Rickels said the dog had been pooping and peeing in the house and chewed up a retainer.

Rickels said he was trying to put the dog out of its misery because Keppel said she wanted to shoot it herself.

Rickels denied abusing the dog until the eye popped out of its socket but admitted to strangling the dog until it was limp.

Rickels was placed under arrest and the dog was transported to the Monticello Vet Clinic for immediate emergency care.

Rickels has been accused of animal abuse, animal neglect - death or serious injury, and animal torture - 1st offense.

He is currently being held in the Jones County Jail on a $4,000 cash bond.