ANN ARBOR (WWJ) – An Ann Arbor teen has pleaded guilty to animal cruelty after choking and repeatedly stabbing the family dog.

Officials say it happened last November after the 1-year-old puppy nipped at several people during a fight between family members — two adults and two teens —  in effort to protect its owner.

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The pet was crated, and that’s when the 16-year-old boy attacked the animal.

Michele Baxter, with the Humane Society of Huron Valley called this a “disturbing”case.

“This isn’t a case of neglect — this is a case of intentional abuse to an animal,” said Baxter told WWJ Newsradio 950. “Not that any animal cruelty should be minimized, but what’s so intentional about this particular crime is, you know, it was very violent, it was very direct, and it was meant to hurt this animal.”

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Baxter said it’s especially shocking crime being that the perpetrator was so young.

“And obviously it makes us wonder if there are other things, other factors that are going on within this teen’s life,” Baxter said. “When situations like this occur we always like somebody to be evaluated to determine if there’s something else going on that would create an environment for, in this case, for this teen to become so violent that he decided to attack this dog in this manner.”

The male dog, named “Leo”, had to be euthanized because of how badly it was injured.

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The teen will be sentenced on Sept. 3.  His name has not been released due to his age.