By Lisa Pett
The Bancroft man will serve some time in jail after he pleaded no contest to killing a dog with a hammer.
Prosecutors reduced the felony charges to misdemeanor animal cruelty and disorderly conduct for 28-year-old Cody Phillips. He will spend 75 days in jail and 18 months of probation.
Phillips was arrested after a January, 2014 incident at the home on Phillips’ ex-wife where he struck his blue tick hound named Clyde with a hammer. Phillips later dumped the dog in a snow bank, where it died of wounds including a broken jaw and broken muzzle.
Phillips told deputies he caught the animal defecating inside the house and when he attempted to pull the animal outside by its collar, it growled at him. He stated he had been particularly angry because the dog had been continually urinating and defecating inside.
“I know Clyde didn’t deserve this,” Phillips told the deputy. “I just snapped.”
Phillips told Judge Robert Shannon he received a bad dog bite as a child and it made him fearful of dogs. He said he bought the dog because his ex-wife wanted it.
“I am sorry that it happened,” Phillips said. “It was a bad situation that I had no control over.”
Phillips told the court he has since tried to make amends by donating money to the Portage County Humane Society.
Judge Shannon told Phillips that he would do better on probation than in jail but that some time would be appropriate for the crime. The court stayed a sentence of 270 days for the animal cruelty charge and 90 days for the disorderly contact.
Phillips will serve the 75 days of conditional jail time and qualifies for work release or electronic monitoring. He was ordered to pay a $250 fine and court costs and was ordered not to own or possess any animal for the duration of his probation.