A Mt. Juliet man is accused of cutting the throat of a dog belonging to a man he got into a fight with.
Sheriff’s deputies responded to a home on Benders Ferry Road in Mt. Juliet Sunday after receiving a report of an injured dog.
When they arrived, deputies found someone had cut the throat of 2-year-old Bella, a German shepherd and Labrador retriever mix.
One of the responding deputies called Jill Hart, president of Lifehouse Animal Rescue, to help Bella get treatment.
“It was pretty bad,” said Holly Ross, vice president of Lifehouse Animal Rescue. “It went from one ear, not quite to the other. They had cut through some lymph nodes and muscle tissue.”
Ross brought Bella to Countryside Animal Hospital, where Bella immediately had surgery.
According to Ross, Bella is recovering well and has since been reunited with her 11 three-and-a-half-week-old puppies.
“She was fortunate it didn’t hit her artery or esophagus,” said Ross.
Nathan Haskins, 32, of Mt. Juliet, is charged with the crime.
According to the arrest report, Haskins and the dog’s owner argued Saturday and Bella tried to bite Haskins.
“She did nip at the guy’s leg,” said Ross, “but she just nipped at his pants – she didn’t actually bite him.”
According to the report, Haskins then threatened Bella.
“’That dog will be dead by in the morning,’” said Haskins, according to witness statements to deputies.
Haskins was booked into Wilson County jail Monday and charged with aggravated animal cruelty. He was released on $1,250 bond.
Bella meanwhile is recovering in a foster home. Her owner surrendered her to Lifehouse because he didn’t believe he could adequately care for her, according to Ross, so the organization is accepting applications for an adoptive family for her.
“She’ll stay at the foster home at least until the puppies are six weeks old, though,” said Ross.
Anyone interested in either donating to help cover the cost of Bella’s treatment and care or viewing animals available for adoption, including Bella and her puppies, can visit lifehouse.petfinder.com.