State Police: Clifton Park man accused of killing dog, found with stolen property

State Police: Clifton park man accused of killing dog, found with stolen property

CLIFTON PARK, NY (WRGB) Police say Hank Smith, 26, faces three charges from his arrest on Wednesday: aggravated animal cruelty, possession of a weapon and possession of a stolen property. The dog police say Smith killed and dumped was family to one woman.

"He was my best friend, he was always there for me and my daughters and my grandson."

Terri Brewer says she wants justice for her 12-year-old dog, Nick - who police say was strangled and dumped in the trash by Smith, who was arraigned in Clifton Park town court and remains in Saratoga County Jail on $20,000 bail.

"Hank threatened to kill my dog," Brewer told CBS6.

Court records show Smith admitted on Wednesday to killing the mini pinscher dog by suffocation on October 14th, and throwing it away in a dumpster at the Fox Run apartments off Huntridge Road, where Terry lives and says Smith was staying.

"He was my daughter's ex boyfriend, he was staying with my daughter."

Brewer says Smith told her the dog passed away, and he buried it in the back yard. She grew suspicious and called police. She says she just found out that Smith trashed Nick in the dumpster yesterday.

"I knew something wasn't right and my gut was telling me that Hank did it," she said.

According to police, Smith claimed the dog was elderly, and needed to be euthanized eventually. He also admitted to drinking alcohol at the time.

"It's tragic, but it's happening all too often," said Senator Jim Tedisco, who is an outspoken animal rights advocate and proponent of Buster's Law - which Smith was arrested under.

"It's a bridge crime" Tedisco said. "People who hurt animals in this way go on to hurt people, and that's why the FBI last year put it up on an A level as an indicator."

A quote from the court records says the "defendant did this act in a depraved and sadistic manner which led to its death."

"I hope he gets what he deserves," Brewer said.

Police say when they arrested Smith yesterday, they found him with a knife on him as well as those stolen prescription drugs, reported missing in September from a car down the road from the apartments. Police are now saying they're very interested in Smith for other recent car larcenies in Clifton Park.

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