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Man who allegedly stabbed dog pleads "not guilty" to animal cruelty charges

The Eureka man who allegedly stabbed his dog last week plead “not guilty” today to felony animal cruelty charges.

43-year-old Westley Wendel Wright was in court for the incident that happened on Friday, December 13. The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a man stabbing his dog on Purdue Drive just after 1 p.m. He fled the scene and was found about an hour later. The dog, “Little Bit” was taken to a veterinarian for surgery for a stab wound on her shoulder.

Wright told law enforcement that “Little Bit” attacked another dog the day before and he felt he had to kill her. Authorities confirm that there was an ongoing investigation on “Little Bit” at the time the incident occurred involving an attack on another dog, as well as reports of aggression toward humans. However, officials say it’s the owner that should have taken responsibility.

"Bottom line— all the dogs end up becoming victims in this situation had they not been placed into these circumstances,” Animal Control Officer Andre Hale said. “This would have never happened. We wouldn't be in this place where essentially their lives hang in the balance and it's all because of some improper decisions and lack of responsibility on the owners part."

Wright will be back in court on January 8 for a preliminary hearing.