Police say a Gwinnett County man has been charged with animal cruelty after they believe he left his pit bull in a hot car to die, then threw the dog's body in a lake adjacent to his home.
But Benjamin Hafer of Lawrenceville told WSB-TV he didn’t intend to hurt “Bruno” and that he disposed of the animal in the lake for religious reasons.
Hafer was arrested July 9 and released the next evening on a $1,300 signature bond, according to Gwinnett County jail records.
Hafer told the TV station he was in a hurry when he forgot Bruno was still in the car and realized the pit bull was missing two hours later.
He then allegedly put the dog in a plastic bag and threw it in the lake as part of a religious ritual.
“We give up bodies of humans, as well as animals, back to nature,” Hafer said, explaining his actions.
He told WSB he has rescued several abandoned dogs before and that he loved Bruno.