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L.A. man is charged in axing death of dog

Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

A Los Angeles man suspected of using an ax to kill his brother's pet basset hound was charged today with felony animal cruelty, prosecutors said.

Rudy Fernandez, 36, was arrested Thursday south of downtown after he allegedly tried for half an hour to strangle the dog, named Samantha; eventually he struck her with an ax, said Los Angeles County Deputy Dist. Atty. Deborah Knaan. The dog later died of her injuries.

Los Angeles police said Fernandez tried to discard the animal, but police found its bloodied carcass in a trash bin after receiving a call from a tipster.

The basset hound belonged to his brother, who was in jail at the time of the alleged attack, police said.

Fernandez, who pleaded not guilty, is accused of trying to strangle the dog with his hands before pinning her to the ground with his feet and pressing a wood fence post to her neck, according to Officer Jeff Fischer.

When that failed, prosecutors said, he delivered fatal blows to her skull with the ax.

Fernandez, who faces a maximum of four years in state prison if convicted, is being held in lieu of $40,000 bail, prosecutors said.

andrew.blankstein@latimes.com

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