Virginia man charged with animal cruelty after dog fatally stabbed

Virginia News
(Photo: Courtesy Washington County Sheriff's Office)

(Photo: Courtesy Washington County Sheriff’s Office)

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — An Abingdon man has been charged with felony animal cruelty in connection with the stabbing death of a dog in November 2019.

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office says that “Smokey” — a Bluetick Coonhound hunting dog — was found tied up on his owner’s property on Old Mill Road in Glade Spring on Nov. 18, 2019. Authorities report that the dog’s injuries were consistent with stab wounds to his head and eye.

Smokey was transported to VCA Highlands Animal Hospital in Abingdon, but he died later that night and was taken to Virginia Tech Animal Laboratory Services for the canine equivalent of an autopsy, according to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

After a long investigation by the Animal Control and Criminal Investigations divisions of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Sheriff Blake Andis announced on Friday, Feb. 7 that 47-year-old Larry Gene Harless, Jr. of Macedonia Road in Abingdon was charged with one felony count of cruelty to animals.

According to Virginia court records, Harless’ hearing for the animal cruelty charge will take place on April 1 in the Washington County General District Court. However, authorities say Harless is already being held without bond at the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail for unrelated drug charges.


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