*CONTENT WARNING: Some viewers may find some of the details of the story disturbing*

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WGHP) — A man was sentenced to 14-26 months in prison after fatally beating a dog, according to the Forsyth County District Attorney’s Office.

On May 7, officers with the Winston-Salem Police Department came to a home on Petree Road after getting a 911 call about a domestic disturbance and “a man beating his dog.”

At the scene, police found a tan and white American Pit Bull that was dead. Investigators say the dog was a 28-pound puppy and belonged to Elson D. Warren.

Warren was at the scene when officers arrived and was covered in what appeared to be dog’s blood. Warren had no injuries and denied hurting “his family pet.”

The Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office Animal Services Division began to investigate the animal cruelty case.

Several witnesses told deputies that Warren assaulted the dog on his back deck. A neighbor yelled at Warren to stop the attack to no avail.

A necropsy later determined that the dog died of severe blunt force trauma, with severe injuries to the head, neck, face, front limbs and thorax. There were multiple blood spots along the back deck where the assault took place.

On Friday, Warren pleaded guilty to one felony count of cruelty to animals in the Forsyth County Superior Court. He was sentenced to 14 to 26 months in prison.

Forsyth County Assistant District Attorney Mark Parent prosecuted the case for the State of North Carolina. The DA’s office says that Parent asked the court for the highest possible sentence allowed by law.

Forsyth County District Attorney Jim O’Neill released the following statement:

“As a dog owner it is impossible for me to understand why anyone would hurt an innocent animal that depends on you for everything much like a child. To abuse the animals who trust and love you is a vile despicable act that will be prosecuted by my office with the most severe charges possible.”

Statement from Forsyth County District Attorney Jim O’Neill