San Juan Island man accused of cutting his dog's throat

A San Juan Island man accused of cutting his dog's throat and assaulting a neighbor who tried to rescue it will face a series of criminal charges, including animal cruelty.

Prosecutors on Friday filed charges in San Juan County Superior Court accusing Rory M. Wilcox, 22, of one count of first-degree animal cruelty, a Class C felony; one count each of fourth-degree assault, a gross misdemeanor; and misdemeanor vandalism.

If convicted of animal cruelty, he could face up to five years in prison and a fine of $10,000.

Wilcox could not be reached for comment Monday. His family phone number was disconnected.

According to court documents, Wilcox allegedly turned the knife on dog early last week after trying without success to give it away. A neighbor, after learning of the dog's injuries, had placed it in her van to protect it and take it to a veterinarian when Wilcox intervened.

Prosecutors claim Wilcox used a large rock to smash a window, grabbed the woman by the wrists and pushed the dog out of the van. He then fled the White Point Road neighborhood, reportedly in a kayak, when the woman went to call authorities.

Sheriff Bill Cumming said the dog, an adult small-mixed breed, is under the care of a veterinarian and its injuries do not appear to be life threatening. Dental floss was reportedly used by someone at the Wilcox home to help suture and mend the dog's neck wound, according to court documents.

Cumming said the case remains under investigation and results of a full examination of the dog and its injuries are pending.

On Friday, a warrant was issued for Wilcox's arrest. Later that day, he surrendered to authorities at the Sheriff's office in Friday Harbor. He was released on $5,000 bail and a pending court appearance this Friday, at which time he is slated to be arraigned on the charges.

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