The Battle Creek Police Department is trying to educate the public on how they handle incidents involving animals, following the shooting of a dog on Tuesday.

Officers had responded to a home on Bennett Street late Tuesday night and found a severely injured dog, covered in blood and struggling to breathe.  Officers, evaluating the dog’s condition, decided to put the dog down with a gunshot, so as to not prolong its suffering.

Police say that in a scenario like this, they have to make a tough decision of whether seeking vet treatment is possible.

The suspect, 54-year-old David Hursley, told police that the dog had bitten his friend, so he grabbed a baseball bat and repeatedly hit the dog, before shooting it with a pellet gun.

Hursley was arraigned Wednesday on charges of torturing an animal and animal cruelty.  He could face up to 15 years in prison, being a habitual offender.