File photo.
File photo. Trevor Veale

Man chokes neighbour's dog to death in public

EXCLUSIVE: A 71-year-old Pittsworth man is facing an animal cruelty charge after allegedly strangling a dog to death in front of its carer in broad daylight.

The attack has left the small community of Pittsworth in shock.

Police will allege the horrific incident occurred in the afternoon of January 8 in Grand St, Pittsworth when the elderly carer and the dog were on the footpath outside the alleged offender's house.

Police further allege the offender arrived home at the same time, got out of his car and held the dog down on the ground with his hands around its throat before choking the animal to death in front its carer.

An onlooker, who wished to remain anonymous over concerns of being identified in such a small town, told The Chronicle that the incident has rocked the community of Pittsworth.

"A lot of us are shocked by the violent nature of this incident and to have it happen in our small community is not acceptable," the onlooker said.

"The incident occurred in front of a number of witnesses who were outside at the time including a four-year-old boy who was with his mother."

The 71-year-old Pittsworth man has been charged with one count of animal cruelty and is scheduled to appear in Pittsworth Magistrates Court on March 16.

The offence carries a maximum three-year prison sentence and the RSPCA described it as "one of the more serious cases they have come across".

"We are confident the magistrate will treat the matter with the gravity it deserves," RSPCA spokesman Michael Beatty said.