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Man accused of kicking, hitting puppy outside Wal-Mart

July 14, 2010 |  7:42 am

A man was arrested for allegedly hitting, kicking and swinging an 8-month old puppy around by the neck, using its leash like a lasso, at an Orange County Wal-Mart.

Verne Joseph Strong, 56 of Newport Beach was arrested Sunday in at a Westminster Wal-Mart parking lot after witnesses called police to report the alleged abuse, according to a news release from the Orange County district attorney's office. He entered a not guilty plea in the West Justice Center, an Orange County Superior Court in Westminster.

About 6:45 p.m., Strong and his girlfriend, Angel Marie Holmes, 37, of Newport Beach, were arguing in the store parking lot, authorities said. While they fought, Strong opened the trunk of their car and took out their 8-month-old, 8-pound Chihuahua-dachshund-mix puppy, Meanie, which had been locked inside, prosecutors said.

Strong is accused of then swinging Meanie around by the leash, which was wrapped around her neck, before throwing the dog to the ground. He then allegedly kicked the dog so hard it slid under the car.

Witnesses called police and when they arrived, they found Strong and Holmes sleeping inside their car with the dog, prosecutors said.

Read the full story here.

-- Joseph Serna