Jun 1, 2012 12:31 AM by Andy Koen

Dog strangulation case appears difficult to prove

The Humane Society believed a local soldier when he told their investigator that he strangling his dog to death along with a stray in the neighborhood. However, SPC Brian Jones, 28, now says he is falsely accused.

According to the arrest warrant, Jones admitted to strangling a three month old rat terrier named "Dip S***" as well as a black Labrador he'd seen while driving in his neighborhood some time in March.

He told the investigating officer, "he had been hearing voices coming his basement, and in an attempt to quell homicidal urges, he strangled the dogs, which gave him some temporary relief."

Joe Stafford, director of the El Paso County Division of Animal Law Enforcement for the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region, worries because of Jones' mental health, things could have been worse.

"The violent nature of the allegation that an individual would strangle the life, literally, out of an animal and what that represents as a potential danger, you know, to people," Stafford said.

Jones disclosed to News 5 that he is diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia and bi-polar with auditory and hallucinatory problems. He admitted himself to Aspen Pointe in April and says he wasn't in his right mind when questioned by investigator.

"On the very first day of Aspen Pointe, without me being on any medication, basically bouncing off the walls, I had a humane society officer come in there and issue me a ticket."

Looking back now, after treatment, Jones doesn't seem to remember ever owning the terrier.

"Apparently we had a little dog but it ran away," he said. "When I started taking my medication, I started remembering everything and the time that I thought that I killed another dog, I was here at home with my wife."

The warrant also says Jones' wife told investigators she knew the dog had been strangled because her husband told her about it. She told News 5 off-camera that she didn't say the things that were attributed to her.

In the warrant, Jones said he put the dead animals in a dumpster. Their bodies haven't been found. He says his neighbors have nothing to fear.

"I didn't kill these animals, I wouldn't hurt any animals at all, I'm not known for being a violent person at all," he said.

Stafford stands behind the work of his investigators and adds that animal cruelty is usually a sign of other forms of violence.

"Animal cruelty is very closely related to other forms of interpersonal violence such as domestic violence, such as child abuse and elder neglect."

Jones is free on bond and is due in court next on June 21. A background check show no other criminal history in the state of Colorado.

During the investigation, the couple surrendered another dog, a lab/pit bull mix, to the Humane Society. News 5 has learned the animal became too aggressive to adopt and was euthanized.

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