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PONCE INLET, FL – A man has been arrested after he beat his 9-month-old Labrador retriever to death because the dog made a mess in his house while he was at work.

Police responded to the home of 43-year-old Travis Archer after a neighbor called just before midnight Saturday to report hearing him beating the crap out of his dog.

When officers arrived, they could hear what sounded like Archer punching his 9-month-old puppy. Archer told them he was just discipling the dog for tearing up his house while he was at work.

When police went inside the home, they found torn papers and and CD cases on the ground and a large hole in the drywall where Archer allegedly threw the puppy.

When they went out to the backyard, they found Ponce lying on its side with its head resting against a fence. The dog appeared to have been gagged, say police, and he was bleeding severely from its mouth.

Officers said they also found blood stains all over the fence next to the dog’s body and a bloody knot rope. Archer said he did throw the dog when he came home from work and found the mess in his home, but had only hit the dog twice to discipline him.

When police checked on the dog again, they found that the he had died. Police arrested Archer and charged him with aggravated animal cruelty — a third-degree felony that is equivalent to stealing a $300 bicycle, according to Ponce Inlet Police Chief Frank Fabrizio.

“A third-degree felony for killing this poor defenseless dog, I just think is ridiculous,” Chief Fabrizio said.

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Archer was held without bail until his first appearance in court Sunday, where he was then released on his own recognizance.

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