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A neighbor witnessed the suspect strike the dog

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FARMINGTON — A Farmington man has been accused of animal cruelty after a witness stated he struck a small dog with a machete, leaving a large wound across its back and part of its neck.

Shane Graham, 44, is accused of a fourth-degree felony count of extreme cruelty to animals, according to court records.

Graham is accused of striking a dachshund-hound mix across its back and neck with a machete on June 19 in Farmington, according to court documents.

He did not have legal representation on July 12.

A Farmington Police Department officer was dispatched around 4 p.m. on June 19 to the 1200 block of South Butler Avenue on reports of a suspicious person, according to the arrest warrant affidavit.

A woman spoke to the officer regarding a separate case, then told the officer she was very upset that Graham hit her dog with a machete.

She initially suspected a relative wounded the dog, but said she later found out it was Graham. The woman stated her neighbor witnessed Graham assault her dog..

The woman brought her dog over to the officer, who observed the Dachshund-hound mix had staples and stitches across its back and under the neck. She showed the officer pictures of the dog taken about five days earlier, before treatment, which showed a gaping wound across its back .

The officer was leaving the area when he observed Graham and spoke to him. Documents indicate that Graham admitted to using a stick to keep the dogs away and throwing rocks at them, not in a "malicious manner" but to keep them away.

When the officer pointed to a fence around the yard where the dogs live, Graham stated the dogs get out and come at him. 

The officer then spoke to the neighbor who witnessed the alleged attack on the morning of June 24.

The witness stated she saw Graham hit the woman's dog with a machete. She stated Graham walks up and down Butler Avenue all the time and is always bothering the woman's dogs. She was able to identify Graham from a photo provided by the officer.

Graham is being held without bond at the San Juan County Adult Detention Center.

He has felony convictions for shooting from/into a vehicle, shooting at a dwelling or occupied building, burglary of a vehicle and possession of a controlled substance, according to court records.

Graham's preliminary hearing is set for the morning of July 17 in Farmington Magistrate Court.

Joshua Kellogg covers breaking news for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at jkellogg@daily-times.com.

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