A Virginian man charged with animal cruelty for allegedly shooting his dog of 15 years says it was an act of kindness, not abuse, WTKR reports. Michael Whalen says his dog Allie was one of his best friends. "We did everything together," he says. Last year, Allie was diagnosed with Cushing's disease. Whalen says a vet offered to put her down, but neither he nor Allie were "ready" for that. Instead, he put Allie on medication. But early one morning in late January, Allie started having intense seizures, according to the Virginian-Pilot. Whalen says he didn't think he could get Allie to a 24-hour vet safely, so after 40 minutes he decided to end her misery.
Whalen tells WVEC he thought shooting Allie would be a "painless, instantaneous" way for her to go. He says shooting his dog was "so emotionally disturbing" he still cries when he thinks about it. He buried Allie's body at a beach nearby because he says she used to like watching him surf, and he would wave to the spot when he walked by in the coming days. But a few weeks later, a passerby spotted Allie's partially buried body. Whalen was charged with animal cruelty and burying trash. Vets don't consider a gunshot an appropriate form of animal euthanasia. But Whalen says he's no animal abuser. “If your animal needs you, you gotta be there for her," he says. "You have a duty and obligation." A court date is set for June. (Read more animal cruelty stories.)