FRUITPORT TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) – Muskegon County authorities have charged a 15-year-old boy with a felony after they say he fatally shot his neighbor’s dog with a pellet rifle.

The Muskegon Chronicle reports the teenager from Fruitport Township was charged this week with killing an animal without just cause. Authorities say he shot the miniature schnauzer named Axel in the leg and abdomen on Nov. 30 near his home.

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Fruitport Township police say Axel was bleeding when he returned to his home and died in front of his owner’s family, including children. Police seized the pellet gun and referred the case to the Muskegon County Prosecutor’s Office.

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The felony charge carries a maximum penalty of four years in prison for an adult. A Family Court judge would decide the boy’s sentence if he is convicted.

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