A man accused of stabbing his dog multiple times in the neck was being sought by authorities Sunday.
Riverside County Animal Services spokesman John Welsh said the man was seen by witnesses antagonizing the dog in Banning during the early morning hours.
Ultimately, the three-year-old male pit bull turned on its owner, biting him on the leg, according to Walsh.
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The bite occurred about 2 a.m. in a neighborhood east of North San Gorgonio Avenue and several blocks north of Interstate 10, he said.
The injuries inflicted by the bite were serious enough that the owner was taken to a hospital.
"After receiving treatment for the bite, the man returned to the property and stabbed his pet several times in its neck. He then left the residence," Walsh said.
The dog's injuries were so severe that a family member of the owner surrendered the pet to Animal Services for humane euthanasia.
"This appears to be a blatant case of willfully harming an animal and is just a horrible incident to learn about,'' Animal Services Director Julie Bank said. "Although we are still in the investigation phase, we believe this will be a strong case for us to successfully seek felony animal cruelty. No one has the right to treat an animal in such a violent manner."