MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WREG) — An 18-year-old appeared in court Monday after police say she killed her grandmother's dog in a brutal case of animal cruelty.
According to police, Kyoko Smith killed the Shih-Tzu dog at an East Memphis home on Nov. 11.
She then cut off the animal's head and put it in a dresser drawer before cutting out the animal's heart and placing it in the freezer.
The family member who reported what happened to police said “he also received pictures of the dead dog from Kyoko Smith's mother.”
Two days later Smith reportedly admitted that she killed the dog, but police didn't reveal a motive. Smith was arrested Friday and charged with killing an animal. She was released on a $5,000 bond and will have another court appearance next month.
"Absolutely the first thing that comes to my mind is please, please, I pray that animal didn’t suffer too long,” Alexis Pugh, director of Memphis Animal Services, told WREG.
Pugh says it's important people are held accountable for this type of behavior, because this didn’t stop with mutilation.
"My second thought is, this is a person who needs some help and I’m glad this is someone that has been identified by authorities, because the lengths this person went to mutilate this innocent animal.”
The shelter says this level of animal cruelty is very uncommon, but mistreating animals is very much an issue.
"This is of course an extreme example of animal cruelty but we see animal cruelty every single day in what we do," Pugh said.
"The only way in most cases we are ever going to hear about this in most cases is if a citizen steps up and says, 'I cannot turn a blind eye. I cannot keep my mouth shut,'” Pugh said.