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Owner tried to slit dog’s throat to put her down, police say

Updated September 19, 2023 - 9:35 pm

Police have accused a Washington man attempting to put his dog down by slitting her throat and leaving her behind near Laughlin.

Wayne Johnson, 76, was arrested Thursday and charged with animal cruelty in connection with a dog found near Laughlin back in March suffering from a gashed head and slit throat, according to a Metropolitan Police Department arrest warrant.

A person called police to say they found the injured dog near Nevada Telephone Cove and Red Hill Road. It was initially believed that the dog had been attacked by another animal. At the animal shelter, it was determined that the dog had her throat cut open twice.

The veterinarian was able to treat the dog but it had to be fed through a tube. The dog’s chip came back to Johnson being the owner. When police called, Johnson admitted to slitting his dog’s throat because the dog was sick with cancer. The vet at the shelter told police the dog did not have cancer, according to the warrant.

Johnson told police, according to the warrant, that he decided the dog was getting too old and was sick so he and his wife drove to Telephone Cove Road where he hit the dog on the head with a hammer and then slit its throat. He said he thought the dog had died so he left.

“He had grown up on a farm and was used to dealing with putting their own animals down when they had to,” police wrote in the warrant based on speaking with Johnson. “He usually used a gun for the job.”

According to police, the dog was euthanized at the Animal Foundation a few days after surgery.

Johnson is due in court on Oct. 5.

Contact David Wilson at dwilson@reviewjournal.com. Follow @davidwilson_RJ on X.

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