ARLINGTON — The pit bull’s head was bludgeoned with a hammer. Holes were drilled in his chest. Bucky was found dead, hanging by his hind legs in an Arlington barn last week.
Snohomish County sheriff’s deputies believe the Arlington man responsible for killing the dog also threatened to kill his girlfriend, according to a police affidavit filed Tuesday in Everett District Court.
Norman Ray Sandretzky, 41, allegedly said the girlfriend and the dog no longer were of use to him, police said.
Sandretzky voluntarily surrendered to Snohomish County sheriff’s deputies Monday. He was booked into the Snohomish County Jail for investigation of felony domestic violence harassment and first-degree animal cruelty.
A judge Tuesday ordered him held in lieu of $500,000 bail.
His girlfriend Tuesday was struggling to comprehend that her boyfriend of 17-years was being accused of killing her dog.
“All that dog ever wanted to do was play ball,” Stephanie R. Swanson said during a phone interview Tuesday. “He was just a sweet dog.”
The allegations against Sandretzky are false, said Angie Ruppert, who said she is his sister and attended his hearing.
She said her brother loves animals and that he told her that he shot Bucky because he was attacking chickens.
A necropsy of the 80-pound animal performed by a veterinarian at the girlfriend’s request determined Bucky died from blunt force trauma strikes to the head. The doctor also said there were drill holes in his chest and no signs of gunshot wounds, according to court documents.
Bucky was rescued from a friend who had abused him and was training him for fighting, Swanson said.
Swanson told police that Sandretzky was unemployed, drinking and suffered from depression. He could no longer afford his medicine, she said.
He suffered a head injury in a car accident at the end of November and hasn’t been the same since, Swanson said. She said she’s tried unsuccessfully to get him help.
On March 29, Sandretzky reportedly called Swanson to tell her he’d shot the dog and he threatened to hurt her too, police said.
Bucky was no longer listening to him and was no longer useful, he allegedly said. He told Swanson “she was next,” according to court documents.
The next day Swanson went to the property where Sandretzky lived. She told police she worried Sandretzky had killed himself.
“I thought I was finding two bodies that day, not one,” she said.
Swanson said she heard Sandretzky talking to her through a door and found the dead dog hanging by his feet.
“It was horrible,” she said.
She told investigators she left and returned the following day with relatives to collect evidence including the dog’s remains, a hammer and a drill.
In court Tuesday, Judge Roger M. Fisher ordered Sandretzky to have no contact with his girlfriend.
“I love him,” Swanson said. “He has my heart, he will always have my heart. His behavior was horrendous.”
Reporter Jackson Holtz: 425-339-3437, firstname.lastname@example.org.