(ANDERSON)(RTV6) - A man was arrested Wednesday on nine counts of cruelty to animals and one count of strangulation after an encounter with his girlfriend and her pets over a tax refund.
Dennis White, 46, of Anderson, had been released on bail from Randolph County on four battery charges and one child molestation charge, Anderson police Detective Joel Sandefur said.
Police said White beat and choked his girlfriend on Feb. 23.
"The incident occurred after the victim refused to give White a portion of her tax refund," Sandefur said in a news release.
Police said "Coco," the girlfriend's dog, bit White as he attacked the woman.
"The dog's actions afforded the victim opportunity to flee to a safe location," Sandefur said. "However, the victim was not able to take Coco and her puppies with her."
Police began investigating White after a grocery store called to report a man who was covered in blood as he went there to buy cigarettes.
"Subsequent investigation revealed the suspicious and violent nature of the animals' death," Sandefur said.
Police said White admitted beating the woman and said that he stabbed Coco after she bit him.
Sandefur said he didn't "provide an adequate explanation as for the cause of the death to the pups."
Investigators think the puppies were killed in the aftermath of the altercation.
White was being held Thursday in the Madison County Detention Center on $100,000 bond.
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