Metro-East News

Belleville man charged in stabbing death of dog

Craig Smith Sr.
Craig Smith Sr.

A Belleville man faces felony animal-cruelty charges in connection with the stabbing and strangulation of a pit bull mix.

Craig L. Smith Sr., 55, who resides in an apartment at 1306 W. Main St., was charged Saturday. He remained in custody Saturday afternoon with bail set at $75,000.

The dog, identified in the charges as Snow, was found Wednesday morning in the 400 block of Catawba Avenue by a Belleville city worker. Snow had a plastic bag tied around her neck and had been stabbed in her neck, sides and legs with a box cutter.

“Smith was familiar with the dog,” Belleville Police Capt. John Moody said.

Snow was a female black pit bull mix, 1 to 2 years old with white patches under her chin, stomach and paws. The dog was seemingly well fed, and her nails were painted yellow and pink, police said. Snow likely was wearing a black leather collar and a white flea collar — the collars were found near the dog’s body.

A neighbor said he had seen the dog tethered outside. He had also seen a boy walking the dog.

“I haven’t seen the dog for a couple of days, come to think about it,” the neighbor said.

The dog did not seem aggressive or abused, the neighbor said.

During a preliminary examination at a local veterinarian, it was found the dog was not spayed but had not had puppies.

The dog underwent a necropsy to determine the cause of death.

Beth Hundsdorfer: 618-239-2570, @bhundsdorfer