In Ocean City, Maryland, a local resident and former mayoral candidate pleaded guilty to the September killing of his dog in September and has been sentenced to jail. According to The Dispatch, Joseph Cryer, 53, was sentenced to three years in prison for aggravated animal cruelty; all but six-months have been suspended.
In September, the Ocean City Police Department responded to a report of two neighbors arguing over a deceased dog. The officer interviewed a woman who stated she had been walking her own dog when she saw Cryer discarding the body of a dog into a trash can.
When Cryer was initially interviewed by authorities, he allegedly told police “they killed my dog.” As the conversation continued, Cryer admitted the dead dog belonged to him and blamed his neighbors for killing the dog due to “lack of love.”
Police found scratches on Cryer’s hands, dried blood on his pants and a trail of blood leading to a pool of blood in his backyard. He then told police his dog “had gone to heaven to be with my brother.” Eventually, Cryer admitted to using a hammer on his dog stating it “was extremely painful.”
An investigation into the cause of the dog’s death revealed his neck had been cut and his head bashed as consistent with having been struck by a hammer.
Cryer had been a candidate for mayor in 2018, but withdrew his candidacy before the election. He also ran for city council in 2014 and lost. After his release from jail, he will be placed on supervised probation for the next three years.
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