A Town of Tonawanda man has been charged with felony aggravated cruelty to animals after allegedly kicking his girlfriend’s 10-month-old shih tzu puppy to death.

Police report that Marc E. Dash, 24, of DeKalb Street, said he kicked the puppy down a flight of stairs Sunday morning because “it was eyeballing me. You know, looking at me like it didn’t like me.”

Dash told police he tried to perform CPR on the dog after killing it, but the attempt failed. After that, he stuffed the dog into a duffle bag and hid it in the trunk of his car, according to reports.

Dash was said to have then left the house in his girlfriend’s car and told her the dog ran away. The woman searched the neighborhood for the dog before being told of Dash’s strange behavior by a neighbor. When the girlfriend opened the trunk of Dash’s car, she made the grisly discovery, according to police reports.

Derek DeMaio, a Lockport resident who said he and his girlfriend sold the dog to the Tonawanda woman, was shocked when he heard the news. The puppy came from his dog’s first litter, and he kept up with how all of the dogs get along with their new owners.

“That dog was supposed to come over to our house that day,” DeMaio said. “We always get updates and pictures. We really care for these animals.”

Dash’s arraignment is scheduled for Jan. 9, and DeMaio said he hopes the case gets the consideration that a crime of this magnitude deserves.

“We’re worried this will get swept under the carpet,” DeMaio said.

Contact reporter Daniel Pye at 693-1000, ext. 158.

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