Brunswick County man charged with animal cruelty after dog beaten to death

Christopher Anthony Simpson (Photo: New Hanover Co. Sheriff's Office)

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — The veterinarian who performed a necropsy on a dog named Axel said he’d never, in the history of his practice, seen an animal with injuries this severe, according to the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office.

The man accused of causing those injuries, Christopher Anthony Simpson, 21, of Leland, is charged with felony animal cruelty.

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New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Lt. Jerry Brewer says on December 1, a family adopted Axel from Animal Services.

The family’s daughter lived with Simpson.

Brewer said on Christmas, Simpson and the daughter were over at her family’s house. They were all going to visit other family members for the holiday, but Simpson did not want to go. The family let him stay behind and play video games.

Brewer said while the family was gone, Simpson called his girlfriend and told her Axel peed on the floor. He allegedly told her he popped the dog on the butt and the dog bit him.

When the family returned, they could not find Axel.

Brewer says the family called their daughter, who told them Simpson didn’t know his own strength and when he punched the dog, he killed it.

The dog was found behind a shed.

Brewer said Paws & Claws did the necropsy. Brewer said the doctor determined Axel died of severe blunt force trauma and bled out internally.

Warrants were taken out last week and Simpson was arrested today. He has posted a $2,500 bond.

This is not Simpson’s first animal cruelty charge.

Brewer said Simpson was charged in 2015 for domestic violence and animal cruelty in Brunswick County but those charges were dropped.

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