MELROSE, MASS. (WHDH) - A Melrose man is facing animal cruelty charges after allegedly killing his dog in the backyard of his home Friday night, police say.

Officers responding to a report of animal cruelty on Mount Zion Road on Saturday learned that a neighbor, later identified as 44-year-old Adam Crook, allegedly dragged his dog from his home into the backyard, where he then struck the dog in the head with a large rock multiple times, killing it, then took a shovel from his home and buried it.

Police executed a search warrant to locate and exhume the dog from the grave.

“This suspect’s alleged actions are absolutely reprehensible and inexcusable,” Melrose Police Chief Michael Lyle said. “I’m grateful for the excellent investigative work of Melrose Police Sgt. Brian Ladner, Detective Sgt. Paul McNamara, Officer Pamela Daye, and Lt. Alan Borgal of the Animal Rescue League that resulted in this arrest.”

“It’s reprehensible, inexcusable on so many levels,” said Mike Defina of the Animal Rescue League. “This really callous and cruel act of violence against a defenseless animal does not go unanswered, that is the priority of the investigation right now,”

Crook was arrested without incident on Sunday and subsequently released on his personal recognizance.

He is expected to be arraigned Nov. 26 in the Malden District Court.

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