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Cops: Enraged man fatally beat puppies

Photo by Michael Buckelew

Photo by Michael Buckelew

SUGAR HILL -- Police arrested a Sugar Hill man this week who allegedly beat four puppies to death with a shovel out of spite for their owner.

Jason Finley, 31, was arrested Tuesday on charges he killed four Labrador retriever mix puppies that officers found in a shallow pit at his Suwanee Dam Road home, police said.

Gwinnett police responded to the home, site of a bloody fight three days prior, when an anonymous caller reported dead dogs there. The animals appeared to have been dead at least three days, said Gwinnett police spokesman Cpl. Edwin Ritter.

On Saturday, the puppies' owner and her boyfriend dropped by Finley's home for a visit, when he allegedly became enraged and pummeled the 22-year-old Snellville man. The woman, 26, of Social Circle, fled and called police from a nearby gas station. Police later found the victim locked in Finley's blood-spattered bathroom, his face badly beaten, according to a police report.

Police arrested Finley on aggravated battery charges, and he posted $27,700 bond the following day.

The victim later informed his girlfriend that Finley had killed the animals.

As police were investigating, Finley arrived home and claimed the puppies were abandoned there by their owner.

"The suspect went on to state that he killed the puppies with a shovel and dug a hole to bury them in," Ritter said.

Finley is charged with four felony counts of cruelty to animals, in addition to the charges lodged by police Saturday.

He posted $44,800 bond Wednesday and was released from the Gwinnett County Jail.