A 57-year-old western Iowa man who fatally shot a dog has been given a year of probation and a two-year suspended prison sentence.
Station KJAN reports that Charles Cutler, of Marne, was sentenced on Tuesday. He was convicted in April of misdemeanor animal abuse.
Authorities say Cutler used a shotgun to blast a 1-year-old chocolate Labrador retriever named Wrigley. The dog belonged to Stacey Ernat, a teacher from Denver who had stopped in Marne with her boyfriend to visit her boyfriend's brother on Dec. 24. The couple was headed to eastern Iowa.
Cutler testified that Wrigley and another dog that lived nearby with the brother had growled at him. Cutler said he feared for his safety and that of his pets, so he got his shotgun and opened fire.