A Woodbury man has been charged with three counts of torturing an animal after allegedly beating his former girlfriend's dog on multiple occasions.
Nicholas David Schmidt, 25, was booked Oct. 10 at the Washington County Jail. He is scheduled for an initial court appearance Nov. 18.
If convicted, Schmidt could face up to four years in prison and fines up to $10,000 for each count.
According to a criminal complaint, a woman reported to Woodbury police that she suspected her boyfriend, Schmidt, was responsible for seriously injuring her dog, Ziggy. The woman said Schmidt often expressed jealousy toward Ziggy and the couple often fought about how much time she spent with the dog. She said Schmidt had lived with her for most of the three months they had been together.
After one incident that caused the woman to take Ziggy to an emergency veterinarian, Schmidt allegedly told her he believed someone had broken into the apartment and hurt the dog. The woman told police Schmidt "reluctantly" went to the veterinarian with her and was "nonchalant, defensive, and non-empathetic while there, at one point telling the complainant that he was going to leave if the visit was going to take any longer," according to the complaint.
After further injuries resulted in a second visit, a veterinarian described both the old and new injuries as "consistent with abuse."
On Oct. 1, Schmidt called the woman at work and told her Ziggy was injured again. He sent her a video showing his hands and forearms and could be heard saying he didn't have any bites, blood or scratches on him. The video then showed Ziggy "lying on the floor in a pool of blood and in obvious pain." When the woman came home, she saw the dog lying in a pool of blood at the foot of her bed and Schmidt asleep in the bed. Schmidt said he would not go to the veterinarian with her because he was tired.
The woman was again told by a veterinarian that the injuries were consistent with abuse, after which she told Schmidt he was not welcome at her apartment.
On Oct. 3, the woman received a text from an unknown number that said, "long time no talk. I'm going to get to the point I'm extremely jealous of you and your boyfriend I've seen you guys many times and it really bothers me. You deserve nothing but the worst for what you did to me and I'm assuming your boyfriend is getting blamed for everything and as much as I hate to say but I tried taking away the one thing you love the most. Glad you guys are going after your boyfriend makes me look like an angel lol hopefully this ruins everything for you take care." The woman said she had received multiple threatening text messages from unknown numbers throughout August, September and the beginning of October. Schmidt was later found to have used phone applications that made it look like the messages were coming from unknown numbers.
Officers found multiple blood droplets throughout the woman's apartment, including blood stains on the bedroom carpet and in a corner of the bedroom closet. Officers also found multiple dog teeth in the corner of the same closet. Additionally, there were scratch marks in the closet, behind a dresser in the bedroom and near the fish tank. Officers observed that the door to the dog kennel was bent and that two of the bars on the metal door were missing. They also found a black metal stool that had scratch marks on the bottom of the legs, which were bent.
Schmidt admitted to officers he was responsible for the dog's injuries and for sending the threatening messages. He said he used his fists to repeatedly punch Ziggy and that he had kicked him on multiple occasions.
Ziggy reportedly suffered extensive injuries that included bruising, abrasions, puncture wounds, lacerations and damage to his teeth. His total veterinarian bill so far totals $9,252.95, according to the complaint.