Joshua Cox mugshot

Mercy killing? Man reportedly stabs his ‘beloved’ dog to death because he didn’t want the pup in a pound

A Florida man allegedly stabbed his 3-year-old pit bull to death and now is facing animal cruelty charges, the Bradenton Herald reports.

Police on Thursday arrested 19-year-old Joshua Cox after he admitted to killing the dog, which he said he did because he couldn’t fathom bringing it to the pound.

“He stated he could not bring himself to take the dog to the pound and where he’s from when it’s time to put a dog down he just shoots them, but being in the city limit he could not shoot it,” a police officer wrote in an arrest report.

Early Thursday morning, Cox asked someone for a shovel to bury the dog, which he said he had just killed. That person then called 9-1-1.

When police responded to the call, they found Cox in his yard, where he told officers that he used a kitchen knife to stab the canine three or four times. Officers later found the dog in the man’s backyard with multiple wounds.

Cox reportedly told officers that his parents brought him the dog from North Carolina so he could “spend time with the dog before he needed to get rid of it,” the newspaper reports.

The dog had been staying with Cox’s brother, but that arrangement did not work because the brother’s lease prohibited dogs.

Cox has been charged with aggravated animal cruelty and possession of marijuana, which police found when they searched him after responding to the 9-1-1 call.

A judge ordered that Cox be held in jail pending a $10,500 bond.

The newspaper found that Cox has a lengthy criminal and arrest history. He most recently pleaded guilty in April to punching, strangling and slapping his wife.

Cox also got into an argument with his landlord in 2015 after she became upset with a comment he had made. The then-pregnant landlord tried to punch Cox but his fiancée at the time intervened, according to records.

Cox then shoved his fiancée and grabbed the landlord by her neck and pushed her, the newspaper reports.

Cox allegedly told the landlord: “If you ever put your hands on me, I will (expletive) kill you.”

Prosecutors charged Cox with two counts of domestic battery in connection with that incident, but a judge determined there wasn’t probable cause to pursue the charge involving Cox’s fiancé.

Cox also was arrested on Christmas Eve in 2015 after allegedly pushing a 70-year-old neighbor. Prosecutors declined to pursue the case, according to the newspaper.